By Tracy Lane
With the toy influx brought on from December, I can't help but notice how many toys my kids have. Seriously, they're everywhere. I could spend all day cleaning toys, and in no less than 5 minutes, our house is a complete mess again.
But over the last couple weeks of being home together, I've had time to observe what my kids play with and what they don't play with. This way, as I declutter and purge, I don't feel like I need to involve them in the process.
Things will run much smoother with only one person making the decisions. It's easier for me when I don't have a child suddenly interested in a long-lost toy I'm preparing to sell, donate, or throw away.
So, want to know how to declutter? It's easier than you think! Here are four simple questions to help you decide what toys to keep.
Is the item played with on a regular basis? Is it something that is played with daily? Every other day? Then, you can keep it. Your child loves these toys. If it's not, get rid of it. There is no sense in keeping toys that your child doesn't love to play with.
Is the item in good condition? Only keep toys in good condition. For us, this means getting rid of paper money that has been ripped to shreds as well as those boxes of play food that are torn all apart.
Do you have more than one of it? If you have toys that are duplicates or that are similar, consider getting rid of them. For things like cars, take note of what your child gravitates toward, and keep those. Get rid of the rest. Chances are, he won't miss them.
Is the toy open-ended? Kids like toys that encourage open-ended play, meaning he gets to decide what to do with them. If your kids are like mine, toys designed for a specific purpose, to be played with in one specific way, never tend to hold their attention. Consider getting rid of toys that simply require the child to sit there and press a button while the toy does all the work.
And of course, once I got to purging, I realized I couldn’t just stop with the toys! I had to do closets too. Here are simple questions to help purge a closet!
- Does it still fit? This seems obvious. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many 4t pajamas were clogging up my daughter’s drawer when she wears a size 6 now. So throw those too small items into a pile on the floor!2.
- Does your child actually wear it? If you find yourself thinking they might wear it someday on an extra special occasion, get rid of it!
- Is it stained or too worn? If it’s not in good shape anymore, it’s time to move it out of your house. On occasion, I cringe when my 4-year-old who dresses herself prances out of her bedroom in a white shirt covered in red pizza sauce stains. I should really just throw those old shirts away to prevent this ever happening again. You should too!
Now that you have your piles of unused toys and clothes, turn them into money. By consigning them at a Rhea Lana’s event, you’ll earn your money back and have the funds to buy the next size and season’s attire your family needs. Check out our list of spring event dates and locations, starting in February. And look at our how-to guides to see how easy it really is to get your items ready to sell.