Having kids usually means having to buy a lot of things for them, which means accumulating a massive amount of clutter. Limiting new items doesn't just help you avoid the chaos, it also helps your children build better habits and value their possessions more. Though it might seem like an overwhelming task, decluttering your kids' stuff is possible with a few tips.
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Limit Toy-Buying to Holidays
It may be frustrating when a new toy comes out and your child starts begging for it, but setting out specific times of the year for buying toys builds anticipation and makes your child value the toy even more once they receive it. Plus, a lot of new toys are fads and their popularity will die out by the time the holidays roll around.
Instead of spending $10 on another Lego set, try spending it on a day at a museum or the zoo. When relatives or friends visit your kids, ask them to give your children experiences instead of toys that your kids might not like. Giving your children experiences also helps them value non-material items and activities that aren't centred around their toys.
Put Toys in Rotation
Children can tire of toys easily, but if you put out a few toys at a time, your child gets to revisit old favourites and you get to avoid the clutter. Much like a capsule wardrobe, it helps you eliminate the stress of having too many options and focus on just a few items.
Have a Toy Swap with Friends
Instead of splurging for a new toy every few months, entertain your kids with new toys by having a toy swap. It can be a fun way to bond with other parents and to get rid of the toys that your child no longer uses. If you can't find a community of parents willing to trade toys with you, consider visiting a toy library, which lets you check out toys for a monthly fee.
Donate Toys That Your Child Doesn't Use
This tip seems obvious, but it's easy to let toys pile up. To prevent that, set up a routine every few months to get rid of toys your kid doesn't use. The best way of cleaning up is spending a day just going through your child's room, one section at a time. Sort out the toys into two piles: one for donation and another to throw away. To avoid tantrums and to build better habits, get your child involved in the process.
Create a Toy Budget
Just like budgeting other aspects of your life, having a toy budget helps you rethink what your kid really needs and saves you money in the long run. When buying toys, spend money on a few high-quality toys that last longer instead of loads of cheap toys that hardly ever get touched. For example, wood toys last a lot longer and break less easily than plastic ones.
Have a Dedicated Space for Toys
Having a clearly marked space for your children's toys is helpful for keeping clutter to one area and limiting the number of toys your child can have. This could mean anything from a closet dedicated to toys to a small basket. If the designated space is full, you'll have to start re-evaluating the importance of each toy before adding new ones.
Lead by Example
Children often mimic adults' behaviour. If you want your kid to declutter, you should too. Get rid of the things that aren't serving you and clean up your space periodically. There are also a lot of books to help guide you through this process.