Toy Purge: Why And How – Family Focus Blog

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Clutter becomes a problem in the lives of most people and if you have children, it is easy to become overwhelmed with toy clutter. It is important to take back your space so you that you can you can function better and feel better. An organized space is so much more attractive to the eye, so much more calming to the soul, and it sets a good example for your kids. With holidays and birthday always around the corner, a toy purge is certainly in order to make room for the new toys. Here are tips on how to complete a toy purge.  
Have you ever rounded the corner into the living room only to be overwhelmed by the mass of kids’ toys strewn across the floor and every other surface? I bet you feel like turning around and running for the hills when that happens. Too many toys is a common problem these days. Often this happens because people tend to opt for quantity over quality. When toys are cheaply produced and procured, they tend to lose value to the child. They feel we can always get another or and there is nothing special about this toy since they have 55 other toys.
Too many toys sends the child the wrong message. They don’t learn to value the things they have. In fact, they may feel overwhelmed by choice and lack desire to play with any toys at all! And they certainly don’t learn how to easily organize and clean up after themselves when they have 100 toys to put away and keep track of!
If my reasoning seems at all subjective, there have also been studies on the matter that agree. “The Influence Of The Number Of Toys In The Environment On Toddlers’ Play” was published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development. The research on 4 toys vs. 16 toys suggests “an abundance of toys present reduced quality of toddlers’ play.” As Psychology Today puts it, “Fewer toys, it turns out, result in healthier play, and, ultimately, deeper cognitive development…Essentially, when given a few toys, the toddlers played with them in more varied ways and for longer periods of time…This increased involvement with a toy has positive implications for many facets of development, including imaginative and pretend play, self-expression, physical skills such as fine motor coordination, and problem-solving.”
So clearly, too many toys is a distraction not only to adults but also to young children. Less toys is actually a good thing and encourages imaginative play. Ask family members to consider donating to their college fund instead of providing more toys!
You want to have a big box ready for the toy purge so you can clearly set aside what you will donate to Good Will (or other local charity). You may want to have another box on hand for items you want to sell or give to a friend. Once the items go in the box, you will have a sense of relief as the room starts to clear.  It will also help you know if you are reaching your goal or if you have really only managed to purge 2 party favors! When you are done, close the boxes up and get them to their destination as soon as possible.
A garbage bag will work well for purging stuffed animals because they are soft and won’t tear through the plastic like most of your child’s toys.
You know how it is, as soon as you pick up a toy to give away that you know the kids haven’t been using, they rush over and assure you it is their favorite toy! To save yourself a hard time, it is best to do the bulk of the toy purge when they are gone. I do think however, that it is a good idea to involve them with at least part of it. We tell our kids that they have to each pick 3 toys to give to other kids who need toys. I like them to get the feel for giving and sharing and organizing.
Obviously, you don’t want to give away their favorite toys. It is helpful that you know which toys you have seen your children playing with. If your kids haven’t used a toy in six months, it is probably time to let go of it and pass it onto someone who will enjoy it more. You can start with the toys on the floor but those are actually probably the ones that get the most use. The toys sitting on shelves or in bins are probably the toys that your kids aren’t using.  
OK, Aunt Betty gave them that toy but she didn’t really expect them to keep it forever. Toys are developmental and when the toy has passed its time, it is OK to let go it.  There may be a few sentimental exceptions but try to keep them few and far between. Even educational toys pass their usefulness. Remember more toys means more cleaning! You will be able to clean the entire room in so much less time when there is less to put away and dust and clean under.
After you purge the unused toys, take the toys that are still getting a lot of play time and organize them into bins with labels.  As you do this, you may find a few more toys that can be given away to those in need. If you have both a toy room and a child’s room don’t forget to check both for old toys. A large bin in your family room can help hold children’s toys and reduce the clutter as well.
The next step after completing the toy purge is to immediately get rid of the toys before your child find the boxes and starts unpacking! Some people might go for a yard sale but I say load it up in the trunk and drop it off at a donation site right away! Or if you plan to sell it, list it on VarageSale or whatever online marketplace right away. While you are waiting for the buyers, but it in an out of the way location that your kids will not find and pillage!
Doesn’t it feel great to get rid of those piles of toys? Purging toys provides valuable lessons to both adults and children that less stuff in one’s home is often a huge blessing. Toy organization will be so much easier in the play room! Completing a toy purge on a regular basis like before birthday parties and holidays will help prevent excess amounts of toys.
Now that you have completed a toy purge, you should feel proud.  Sit back on your toy free couch and enjoy!  Feel free to share your tips for how to complete a toy purge in the comments or share on social media @familyfocusblog!
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Ramya says

“Toy Purge: Why and How” is a timely and relevant article that highlights the importance of decluttering and simplifying our lives. The practical advice and the focus on the benefits of reducing toy clutter, both for our physical and mental well-being. The discussion on the impact of excess toys on our children’s development and the importance of teaching them about responsible consumption is particularly noteworthy.
Thank you for sharing your personal experience and for providing a step-by-step guide on how to execute a successful toy purge. I highly recommend this article to anyone looking for inspiration and guidance on decluttering their homes and creating a more peaceful and organized environment.
Family Blogger
Thanks for reading Family Focus Blog, which has been named a top family blog for parenting resources. It was created in 2010 by Nashville mom blogger, Scarlet Paolicchi. She shares tips for better family life, parenting, family fun activities, eco-friendly lifestyle, family food ideas, family travel, and home decor. Family Focus Blog has been named #3 in Cision PR’s 50 U.S. Top Mom Blog list. Scarlet Paolicchi is the author of four books.
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