Step Into Our Toy Box

January 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm 2 comments

The holidays taught us this: kids are inundated with stuff from a very early age. We think this inundation plays a huge role in our adult need to consume. And it certainly makes it difficult to part with items as we grow up.

Parents need to be proactive by explaining the importance of de-cluttering.


Encourage kids to learn that their toys can be given new life in the hands of another child. It’s called sharing. And apparently it’s an important lesson in becoming a well rounded individual.

Just explain more toys lead to more dusting ...

Designate play areas or rooms to ensure the rest of the house won’t be infiltrated with toys. Use play tents to carve out space in more compact homes.

Use kid friendly containers (small ones for tiny pieces) along with chests and armoires for additional storage. Put these organizational items at kid-level.

When children are small, bins without lids are ideal. Larger bins are great for kids just developing their fine motor skills. They can still participate in cleaning up and feeling good about putting things back in their rightful place.

Closed containers (with lids) are perfect for toys with smaller pieces, art/craft supplies, project materials, etc…

Before kids begin to read, take pictures of the items that should be in each container. When they start reading, make your own labels. Call it creative learning.

Chalkboard fronts for labelling. Fun!

Make cleaning up and putting away toys a fun game and not a chore. We don’t have kids but we know this: when we act excited, they get excited.

A role model for all

Don’t be afraid to get rid of toys that no longer thrill and wow – donate them. Kids are fickle and an item loved one day is forgotten the next. Involve children in the de-cluttering process and you might be surprised by their ability to let items go! Give to day cares, swap with friends and family, sell to consignment shops, sell online, donate to local shelters or bring to second hand stores.

Kids tend to focus on only a few toys at any given time. Why not put away some of the new toys they receive as gifts and pull them out at a later date? A very wise mother told us that she likes to have a “go-to” container filled with fun, non-everyday toys for rainy/snowy days.  It’s like a special treat.

Next time you’re contemplating picking something up for your children (or offering gift suggestions to friends or family for your children) think about your home. Where will the item live? Are you or the kids willing to part with another toy to allow space for the new item? Our rule: for every new toy that comes into the house, one needs to leave.

Buying gifts for kids? Remember it’s the parent’s responsibility to find homes for the items. Getting $30 worth of toys at the Dollar Store might seem like a good idea – because more is better right?! WRONG! It’s a nightmare. Lots of stuff equals lots of stress. Being mindful of the gifts we give to children leads to less de-cluttering for busy parents. If you’re unsure of what to buy, ask the parents.

Our cultural obsession with giving “stuff” as gifts is rapidly becoming an epidemic. It’s time to give something useful.

Like a babysitter.


Entry filed under: Decluttering, Editing, Gifts, Home Organization, Storage Solutions, Toy Organization. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Step Into Our Shoe Rack Step Into Our Music Collection

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tjservance  |  January 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I love this post! As a parent, the constant influx of toys can be overwhelming so the ‘one old toy out for every new toy in’ tip is brilliant (so is the gift suggestion at the end). Keep em coming! Please!

  • 2. Edit My Closet  |  January 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    We’re happy you’re enjoying our posts – thanks for your continued support!

    Ps The ‘one old toy out for every new toy in’ can also apply to clothing and books.


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