Updated: August 22, 2022
Decluttering toys is overwhelming. There’s no sugar coating it! What do you keep? What do you donate? Is it really worth trying to sell?
Lucky for you I have some experience with this daunting task. Check out my six easy steps below for the best ways to rid your home of excess toy clutter!
How To Declutter Kids’ Toys In 6 Easy Steps
1. Collect Every Toy
I say this with every organizing project! Collect all the toys. For the majority of the playrooms I have organized, I collect and sort all of the toys in the basement.
The basement is (in theory) the largest space in your home, and for many people, it’s where the majority of the toys are located. This makes it easy to find pieces/parts/sets/etc. If you don’t have a basement, collect toys in the room where most live.
When you collect all of the toys in one place, you and your kids can see the massive amount of toys you have! Most kids don’t play with the majority of their toys because they forget they have them!
2. Group Toys Into Logical Categories
Start grouping similar toys together. I like to use the following categories:
- Building Blocks
- Mega Blocks
- Board Games
- Magnetic Games
- Art Supplies
- Play Kitchen
- Sports Equipment
- Baby Dolls
- Calico Critters
- American Girl Dolls
- Doll Accessories
- Missing Parts
3. Remove Uncategorizable Toys
Once all the toys are grouped into logical categories, gather all the toys that don’t fit into those categories.
Spoiler alert: these are the toys that are leaving your home. I know it sounds harsh, but the reason these toys are taking over is that they don’t go with anything else. Decluttering toys is more than just organizing them. It’s removing them, too!
If you struggle with this step, put the uncategorized toys in a box and put the box in the garage. Cover it up and set an alarm on your phone for one week. If you needed to go into that box for something, you know it’s a used toy and you can add it back into your toy mix. If not, it’s safe to say those toys can and probably should be donated, trashed, or sold.
4. Throw Away Broken Toys
Look through each category and check for broken or missing parts. Only keep fully functioning toys. This will help you to declutter kids’ toys for good!
A good task for the kiddos is to check every single marker to make sure it works. My kids love this because they get to sort and color at the same time!
Check all the Play-Doh to make sure it is not dried up.
To help you decide which toys can be decluttered, check out these posts:
5. Store Like Toys Together
Look at the piles of toys. If you already have bins, fill each bin with just ONE category. It’s okay if the bin is not totally full. It will make it easy to find the toys for the kids. Plus clean-up will be so much easier!
If you don’t have functional bins, purchase some that are the size of the items you have. This helps maintain the excess toy clutter as well!
And don’t forget to LABEL! It is the easiest way to stay organized. I like to use both picture and word labels, depending on the kids’ ages. But I also love these labels:
6. Keeping It Tidy
Once you declutter kids’ toys, your hard work will pay off only if you work to maintain the system!
Clean the toys up every night. Make it part of your nighttime routine. Put on some calming music and give each kiddo one category to clean up. The longer you leave the toys out of their designated places, the more your new systems will fall apart.
Decluttering toys isn’t a one-time thing, so I’m going to let you in on a secret…
Don’t bring anything into your home that doesn’t fit into your categories.
Yes, you heard me right. This is HUGE when it comes to buying toys! This is just like my closet trick to color-code so you know what you don’t need when you need a refresh. When you know your toy categories, only buy what will fit into one of those toy categories.
More Ways To Organize Toys
And, guess what… I created a FREE printable: 6 Steps To Declutter Kids Toys to get started!
My Favorite Toy Storage Containers