Taming Toy Clutter Before Christmas | Little Rock Moms Network

As Christmas comes closer, we know our kids’ excitement level is ever increasing from writing letters to Santa and making cookies to finding out what he’s going to bring them on the big day, but many of us dread what happens after all the presents are unwrapped. The stress of the season isn’t so much about cleaning up the mess or cooking for everyone, or even managing kids hopped up on a sugar high — it’s about figuring out how to find space for all the toys that are about to come into our homes when our kids already have so many. This goes double for my family as we moved into a smaller apartment earlier this year.

Fortunately we don’t have to let our house be (totally) overrun. With a little planning ahead and some creative thinking we can make room for the new toys before they even arrive.

First get rid of anything that should be headed for the trash. We all have them, the toys broken beyond repair, puzzles and games missing pieces, etc. By getting rid of these things first it will make the rest easier to sort through.

Next observe what they are using (and not using). This not only will help you when deciding on their Christmas gifts, but it will also tell you those things that are ready to be let go. For those of us who aren’t sure if their kids will miss anything I have a “Wait Until” tub I use. In this tub I put all the toys my kids don’t play with anymore but don’t want to risk getting rid of just yet. So I wait for 3-6 months and if they ask for something in there I will get it out for them, but if it’s not touched I will go ahead and let those toys bring another family joy.

Make sure you get the kids involved too! You can do a quick sweep alone first or get them involved from the get go. This year we’ve been talking about how everyone can be a Santa Claus because he embodies the spirit of giving, so when we went through our toys I asked my 4 year old do you still want this? Or do we want to let another child get to play with it? He really surprised me with how many things he willingly let go to let another child have fun with something as much as he did.

One really cool way to get the kids involved is to check out The Giveback Sack. This is a special sack that Santa can send your kids with a special request… for them to fill up their sack with unloved and unwanted toys for other kids around the world. This can help kids who are apprehensive about cleaning out their toys and get them onboard to help with Santa’s Christmas mission. On Christmas Eve, you leave your sack under the Christmas tree, and when Santa arrives he exchanges the old toys for new. The old toys are fixed and fancied up at the North Pole for other kids to love and enjoy again. Santa and his elves keep this the sack until next year, when it’s time to give back again. This can be such a fun addition to your Christmas traditions!
Don’t forget to do a sweep of the rest of the house too! We all know how their toys migrate to every room!

Don’t forget to do a sweep of the rest of the house too! We all know how their toys migrate to every room!

Need a couple other tips to tame the toys?

Try implementing a toy rotating system if you haven’t already. This is a way to keep the number of toys our kids have access to to a minimum and makes the old toys feel like new when they get them back! You can rotate as often or as little as you like. I personally try to do a 3 month rotation.

Pack away toys that they LOVE but have outgrown. This way it keeps them safe but also gets them out of the way.

Ask for experiences at birthdays and Christmas. We always put memberships on our lists. (Zoo, Science Museum, Kids Play Place) This doesn’t take up any space and gives them a present they can enjoy again and again.

 

Have any other tips for tackling the toy clutter? Drop a comment below!

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