Decluttering Your Play Space
Do you need to declutter your play space? One of the biggest complaints I hear from moms is that their house is filled with toys. They have so much stuff–especially after the holidays. They feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I’ve always loved a good purge (thanks mom!) so I started thinking about how I could share my process with you all.
It’s not rocket science but it does take some time and commitment.
For ways to re-imagine your play space check out my e-book Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood which you can buy here ❤️
If you want more help check out my e-course: Purposeful Play Space: How to Transform Any Space to Promote Purposeful and Independent Play for Your
3-step process to declutter your toys and play space.
First and foremost, it’s important to declutter your space and do a purge of toys. This will allow you to see what you have, what you may need or want to add, and how best to organize everything in order to promote active play.
Step One: ALL toys, ONE spot
In order to see what’s really up with all things toy-related, you really need to see it all piled in one spot. This will allow you to really evaluate the full picture. I hear all the time how parents feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of toys they have in their home.
If you feel overwhelmed by the toys in your house, imagine how your child feels.
Purging will not only help minimize the amount of stuff you have but also free up space mentally for kids to engage more deeply in what you decide to keep.
Step Two: Piles and Categories
Now it’s time to begin to sort through all the mess. Go through and make piles in the following order. Following this process allows you to purge with intention. The last thing you want is to go through and declutter, only to turn around the next day and still feel overwhelmed.
Make piles of the following, in this order (there is a method to my madness):
First, sentimental toys: This could be toys given or made by a special family member or something from your own childhood. Or this could just be a toy that your kids really love for whatever reason.
Next, broken or abandoned toys: Any toys that are broken, ripped, don’t work, or missing pieces. Also include toys that your kids just don’t gravitate toward. If you are unsure about getting rid of something, put it in a box out of sight for a few weeks and see if your little one notices–chances are, they won’t.
Then, toys that don’t meet the “90/10” rule: These are toys that do more than 10% of the work for your child. Your child should be doing 90% of the work when playing with a toy. This is often going to include toys that have batteries, light up, talk, or move.
Lastly, categories: Look at what’s left. Make piles based on categories. So, for example, trucks, dolls, kitchen stuff, puzzles, blocks…each of these would be its own pile.
Step Three: Make Cuts
This is, for sure, the hardest part of the process. Your sentimental pile gets to stay. Broken and abandoned toys need to go. Don’t overthink it. Put them in a large garbage bag and keep moving. Now, begin to go through the toys that fall into the 90/10 pile. Is there anything in there that you REALLY think needs to stay? If so, keep it. The rest, put in a separate bag for donation. Take a hard look at your category piles. Do you have 15 trucks? Or 100 pieces of plastic kitchen food? What really needs to stay? Pick the highest quality, most loved, and most open-ended toys from that pile and put the rest into a bag for donation. Done.
Want more information about how play impacts your child’s development?
Check out my e-book: Simply Play: Everything You Need To Know About The Most Important Part of Childhood
Love this post? Check out some of the articles below.
This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. How can a theory published in 1936 still help you to understand your children and how to encourage them through their cognitive development? While Jean Piaget’s Theory of Play is closing in on its hundred-year anniversary…
Get the ages and stages development chart here!! This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. During the first 3 years of life babies and toddlers are making 1-2 million neural connections a minute. Mind blown! During those years they go through massive growth…
Are Pikler triangles worth it? abso-freakin-lutely This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. So what is this magic triangle that seems to be in every playroom on Instagram? It’s a Pikler triangle and there are some great reasons why so many moms are…
This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. On this episode of Play. Learn. Thrive., clinical psychologist Sarah Mundy shares with Alanna insights about the importance of play in the development of confident, self-motivated, independent kids. In addition to being a core element of…
Risky Play This post may include affiliate links and I may earn commission if you make a purchase through these links. Children have an innate need for risk-taking. In addition, children who are encouraged to take risks at a younger age are able to better manage risk once they have gained more independence. A lack…