Toys Part 2 - Decluttering
Okay, this is the hard part! Now that you're confident in culling your kids toys with them, and you know all of the "why", now it's time to talk about the "how".
Do you do it with them or without them? How do you work around the emotions? What tips and tricks are there for getting kids on board?
Loads of info in this one. Don't forget that if you haven't listened to Toys Part 1 that we'd recommend you do - it's a good precursor.
If you have the time to get them all in one place - set aside plenty of time and space. Sort into keep, donate, bin, fix etc.
If you’re time poor, break it into stages and zones.
If you are keeping toys for a younger sibling - find a space for them that is not in the existing play zone. Pack them away and pull out when age appropriate.
What to let go:
Ones not played with
Do together with kids when age appropriate
Talk them through the process
Lead by example
Acknowledge feelings and concerns
Don't be dismissive of their attachments - go gently
Assign a number of items
Toy buy-back scheme (find their currency)
Give before you get
Donate to charity
Create a toy shop for friends/ family members
Laura asks: How do I encourage my kids to let go of things they’ve grown out of?
Dependant on age - talk about a hall of fame for toys (if the kids are into sports or movies you could relate it to those halls of fame - only the best of the best are in there) - they could keep their best toy from each era to hang onto for future, just not all of them.
Ask why they want to keep it - if they’re worried about forgetting - take a photo, if they feel sad, talk to them about how much happier that toy would be being played with by another child
If they cant decide which are their favourites, ask them if there was an emergency and they had to leave the house but has 10 seconds to run in their room and grab a toy or two, which would they go for. You can even role play this scenario (without causing stress).Often that bit of pressure can bring clarity.
Get them thinking about the future of holding onto toys. No room to buy new ones. Ask them if their parent had kept all of their old toys, where would they be stored in this house?
Relate it to clothes - we grow out of our things including toys. Letting go doesn’t mean we didn’t love them or won’t miss them, it just means they no longer fit us or fit the stage we are at.
Give toys away to : clinics, day care centres, charity stores, welfare or crisis centre groups, toy libraries, grandparents to keep a few things at their house etc