Don’t Let the Toys Take Over!

It’s Christmas, or your kid’s birthday party, or the grandparents come to visit. You see the excitement on your child’s face as they open present after present. You are excited for your child, too. Then all the guests leave, Christmas is over (or the grandparents are gone) and you realize that you have more “stuff”. Toys are everywhere. They are in the living room, the kitchen floor, the laundry hamper and under couch cushions. Does this seem like your house? What are you to do? I hope this post may help you get your house in control and put the toys in their place! Literally.

Taking back your house and finding places for your children’s toys may not be as hard as you think. There are three tips I try to follow whenever my children receive new toys:

De-Clutter the Toys: Go through your children’s toys every once in awhile and get rid of unused toys or toys your child has outgrown.  I usually try to do this when my son gets a new toy. I usually throw away all the kids’ meal toys and donate the others to Goodwill. When my son was younger, I did this when he was asleep and he didn’t even notice toys were gone. Now that he is a little older, I let him help me with the process. I am trying to teach him not to hold on to “things” and the toys that he doesn’t play with may be great for another child. This also teaches him about giving.

Organize the Toys: It is ideal to have a specific area of your home just for toys. We have a play room in our house. I sacrificed a guest bedroom for a playroom, but whether you have a playroom, an area of your family room, or your child’s bedroom, it is good to organize the toys. It helps children be more responsible with their belongings as they get older, if you teach them to be responsible with their toys. Having organized toys allows children easier access to all of their toys. If you haven’t yet organized your children’s toys, here are some tips for doing so:

  • Stay away from large toy chests or large tubs as a one stop place for toys. Toys in a big toy chest tend to not be played with (especially the things that fall to the bottom).
  • Utilize a cubby storage system that allows you to organize the toys according to theme or type.
  • Organize little toys (legos, barbie accessories, etc.) in jars or storage containers.

6 storage cubby system with bins

Open Cubby Storage System from Land of Nod

Open bin storage system from KidKraft

My son has the open bin storage system like the one from KidKraft. I really like how easy it is for him to get to all of his toys, put them away himself, and see what he wants to play with, without digging to the bottom of a toy chest or dumping everything out to find something. It also is very easy to organize everything according to categories.

Rotate the Toys: I learned this little tip from a friend of mine. Every 3 or 4 months, rotate your kid’s toys. Put about one-third or one-fourth of your child’s toys in storage, so they don’t get bored of the same toys all the time.  When you bring out the toys from storage, it will be like getting new toys all over again! Make sure to leave out the ones that they always love to play with.


  1. 1

    Both my daughters’ room and my son’s room have an open bin storage like the one pictured above and a few other totes for toys in their rooms. I am an organizing feign, so I go through their toys 3x a year or so, one of those being before Christmas as we make it a rule that we donate toys to needy children before Santa will visit our home.

  2. 2
    Janet W. says:

    We try to use as many storage bins as possible around here. The toys can easily get out of control fast!

  3. 3
    Blair Gwin says:

    Words have never been spoken so clear! We just ordered the cubby’s from Land of Nod. I have to have an organized play area! Great post!

  4. 4

    I do a lot of cleaning out before there is a birthday party or Christmas. Otherwise there is an overwhelming amount of “stuff”!

  5. 5
    Karen Medlin says:

    I use cloth baskets on a book shelf.. it’s hard for the little ones to reach up to grab the baskets.. they end up spilling the toys and it creates a mess.
    I like the tip on rotating the toys.. will be giving this a try.

  6. 6
    Jessica Beard says:

    This is a difficult task. I use the cubby system for my son’s toys.

  7. 7

    Great tips! Both of my kids have birthdays shortly after Christmas so the influx of toys we get at that time of year is astounding. Right now we have closed containers so they can’t grab & dump – they have to rifle through.

  8. 8
    Robin Wilson says:

    De-cluttering the toys is the biggest sin my sister has with her grand-daughters stuff. She has a reason to keep everything! I swear they are taking over her house! I am going to print this out and take it to her today! These are wonderful tips and I love the containers you have pictured!

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