I got rid of my kid’s toys!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.
Yes, I did it! I’m that mom who hauled off her unsuspecting kid’s toys. I felt equally guilty and liberated. Emma screamed. Ah, motherhood.
This was a long time coming. I already knew that having less stuff makes my life easier, and now it was time to apply it to toys! I had been saying I wanted to get rid of my kid’s toys for months. I had bagged up a few that were too young for her, but it didn’t really make a dent.
To give you some background, Emma’s “playroom” is a small area behind our couch. We have some IKEA Kallax shelves with bins and some more bins on the floor. (You know I love IKEA furniture!) This little area was overflowing with stuff. There was no room to play in the playroom – the whole area was just toy storage. Meaning Emma couldn’t actually get to her toys.
I don’t have many before pictures of this area because it really stressed me out! But here’s one during the process, with our giant Sofia the First castle!
why the toys needed to go
Now, I love to organize. With more bins and shelves, that playroom would be organized to the gills. But the problem was, Emma didn’t seem to mind that she couldn’t get to her toys. She had the ones she loved and played with often (that usually stayed out), and the rest were ignored. That was a huge sign that she had too many choices.
Her birthday was just around the corner, and I knew that we couldn’t handle any more toys on top of what we already had!
when I did it
With Emma’s 5th birthday looming, it was time to do a purge! I got rid of her giant castle and some old and baby-ish toys to make room for the incoming presents. Emma was (mostly) on board with this – I explained that she needed room for more presents, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to keep them.
After that, I went through all the bins and bagged up things she hadn’t touched in a few months (and those things that always ended up laying in the middle of the floor, being tripped over but not played with). There were also a lot of “treasures” (aka trash) that she had been hanging on to.
why I chose what I did
The process for choosing the toys I did was pretty simple… They were the things that annoyed me most! Thankfully, that also aligned with things that weren’t really that great for Emma to play with. Toys that can only be used one way, or that just make noise, or that just get in the way… those aren’t doing anything for her, either.
We ended up getting rid of an entire car load of stuff! I had no idea it would be so much when I first started. We did keep almost all of the arts and craft supplies, nature and outside toys, and building toys. But a lot of stuffed animals, electronic toys, and stuff she’s aged out of got bagged up.
The initial reaction
When Emma first realized I had gotten rid of a lot of her toys, she was obviously pretty upset! We had tried in the spring to go through her toys together and get rid of some things, but it was clear she didn’t really understand (saying yes to getting rid of some of her favorite stuffies), and the goodwill bag was reopened the next day. It was up to me to choose what needed to stay and go – and, after all, as her mom, I’m in charge of what enters her life and how she spends most of her time. But, after a while, I noticed she was playing with a bigger range of the toys that were left, and using her imagination much more.
Now that we have fewer toys, life is so much easier. Getting Emma to clean up her toys at the end of the day isn’t such a Herculean task, since there are fewer. She’s in kindergarten now, too, so it doesn’t make sense to have so many toys when she’s gone all day!
It’s not a great picture, but here is her play area now. The giant castle has gone, and the rest of her toys are in the cubes! Her art supplies have been moved to the dining room, since that’s where we do art projects. Since this picture was taken I’ve removed those labels, since they’re bent and we know where (almost!) everything is.
What surprised me most was how good her memory is! Even now, months later, she sometimes asks for one of her little treasures. I thought for sure she would have forgotten by now!
Did you get rid of your kid’s toys? How long did it take you and what did you decide to get rid of? Tell me in the comments!