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Before Christmas comes and brings a ton of new and fun toys for the kids, let’s try to organise and declutter the things your kids already have. I promise it will make your life much easier! Let me break down why and how to do this.
Why organise and declutter before Christmas?
Let’s start with why. Why would you take time to organise and declutter the kids’ toys before Christmas? You are already busy with Christmas shopping, figuring out what will be on the menu and all the other things that happen during this busy season of the year.
- You (and the kids) will see how many toys they actually have.
I don’t know about your kids, but when Christmas comes around ours love to make lists of things they’d like to get. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time they would ask for a toy, that we actually already own. This year my son said he wanted a train track. Which we had just put in storage a few months ago because he never touched it. Maybe I should just wrap up the one we already have..
- You will see if you have room for more toys.
Before we had kids, I made a promise to myself. I would not have more toys than what fit into the one toy cabinet we have. I fully believe kids these days have way too many toys, so I wanted to prevent that from happening.
Well, that promise still stands and I always make sure we don’t own more than we can store. So before new toys arrive, we need to make room for them. But whether you have one drawer or an entire toy room, you too need to make room for the toys.
- Less toys means less to clean and organise
This is an important one. Especially if you want to become better at managing the home. I actually wrote a post earlier about why minimalism will help you become a better homemaker, but in a nutshell; with less toys to manage, you will have more time to do other things. You don’t want to spend a lot of time every day picking up toys and organising them again. But the more toys your kids own, the more likely it is that you need to help them pick them up.
- Fewer toys is better for their creativity
Like I said, I am a firm believer in having less toys. Why? Well, it is actually better for their creativity. Children will use blocks as people, build the biggest buildings and make the most amazing creations with just a set of wooden blocks. They don’t need the fancy and expensive lego sets (although they are fun too!), children can use anything and let their creativity run wild.
- Organising and decluttering before Christmas will help you decide what to buy
When you have organised and decluttered the things the children already own, you also get to see what they play with a lot and what they do not touch. That new train set might seem fun, but your experience will say they won’t play with it. So instead of buying that, you might buy an extra set of Magnatiles because they love to play with them (ps. They truly are the best gift for kids! Our kids can play endlessly with theirs.)
So, I hope you get the idea of why organising and decluttering before Christmas is going to be helpful in many ways. But how do you actually do this?
How to get started
When I organise and declutter the toys I like to use these steps to make sure I looked at all the toys and we know exactly what toys we have lying around.
- Take everything out.
This includes all the toys scattered around the house! So grab all the toy bins from the kids’ rooms, toys in the living room, playroom, in storage, etc. Everything needs to come into one place. And be warned; you’ll be shocked at how much they actually own.
- Organise it by toy group
I like to organise the toys in toy groups after that. So all the legos from the different rooms, will be put into one pile. I will do this in a way that makes most sense. For example, lego animals go in the lego pile, not the animal pile. But do this in whichever way makes sense to you most.
- Declutter with the kids
Now the fun (and hard) part comes. Time to declutter. I like to start by going through every pile and take out all the things that are broken. Then the kids and I look at the rest together and decide what can be donated. Kids will have a hard time with this if you do this for the first time, but the more you do this the easier it gets.
Tip: Tell the children you will donate this to a charity (help them pick one) and explain how you can make other children happy with these toys. Our kids always love to do that!
It will also help to explain to your kids why something could be donated instead of keeping it. Tell them they don’t play with it often, or that they have something similar, or that you want to make room for the new presents they’ll get on Christmas morning, etc. Children will understand why you want to get rid of it in the first place.
- Put them back in a toy closet
After you decluttered, it is time to get them back where they belong. Put them back into bins, baskets etc and make sure it actually fits. If it still doesn’t fit, you have some more work to do.
- Use organisation tools you already have
When you put the things back where they belong, make sure you use what you already have. You really don’t need to buy new baskets, or matching bins. You just need to store it somewhere. There are many organisational tools out there, but you really don’t need them.
What about after Christmas?
So, what do you actually do once Christmas is over and you have all these new toys to store? Because they will probably receive way more toys than you anticipated.
One thing I love to do is just sort the things together with what they already had. Making sure everything gets organised as soon as possible. I don’t want to have all those different boxes lying around the house.
Another thing I have seen others do, is give the new gifts in smaller amounts. So that might mean you give them 3 new presents and keep the rest in a box and give them one new one every single month for example. We have never done this, because our kids don’t get that many toys.
And lastly, make sure you keep organising and decluttering regularly. We do this every 1-2 months to make sure broken things are thrown away in time and toys we don’t like can go to someone that WILL play with it. And this will make it much easier to organise the kids toys in December next year!