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How to Declutter Toys | Playroom Before & After

When deciding how to declutter toys you need to first figure out your purpose or motivation for doing so. Do you simply have to many? Are there toys that your kids don’t play with? When you declutter toys these are good things to keep in mind.

Before you declutter your kids toys decide if you want your kids present. My kids are still pretty young so we did a toy purge while they slept knowing that they wouldn’t be able to help and would “love” everything even when we know they didn’t.

how to declutter toys playroom before and after

How to declutter toys

Here is my step by step process for decluttering toys. You can copy my exact methods or tweak them to make it work for you and your family.

Remove all of the toys from the room.

All of them! As you’re removing them put into two piles. “Get rid of” and “Reevaluate” This way you can quickly remove anything that isn’t working for you anymore and not have to deal with it again later. But you won’t be making hard decisions because you can stick anything you have to think about in the “Reevaluate” pile later.

Clean the space and set it up the way you want

Any furniture, storage bins, larger items, etc. should be placed where you’d like them to go ideally before you start putting anything back.

Go through your “reevaluate” pile and pull out the “nonnegotiable” toys

These are toys your kids must have. Either their favorite or the toys they play with ALL THE TIME. Put anything else to the side.

Take all your “nonnegotiable toys” and put them into the playroom

Sit with that for a minute and decide how you feel about the room. Does it feel too empty? Too full?

If you decide that it feels too empty, go back through the “reevaluate” pile and pick out a few top toys and add them in.

If it feels too full you might need to go through the “nonnegotiable” toys and remove some.

From here you can put any finishing touches on the room and breath a sigh of relief at how much nicer the room feels!

how to declutter toys playroom before and after photos

Now what do you do with the rest of the toys?

Get rid of pile: toss anything that’s broken and unfixable. The rest can be donated, given away or saved for a yard sale.

Reevaluate pile: The toys left here were toys you were unsure about. They didn’t make it into the “get rid of” pile, but they also didn’t make the cut into the playroom. Go with your gut. If you think your kids will be ok I’d get rid of these. If you’re not comfortable with that put them away for a month and see how they do. If they seem fine without them then you can proceed to get rid of them.

Another option for the reevaluate pile would be to create ONE bin of toys you can rotate through. That means trading toys every 1-2 weeks with something in the playroom. This keeps toys fresh. I find that I’m bad a rotating toys personally, but I want to try this soon. I think the key is keeping the rotate toys organized and minimal.

I find that toys tend to creep in throughout the year. From birthdays, holidays and random purchases. Even though we don’t buy a lot of toys ourselves, we still end up having to declutter at least once or twice a year.
Now that I’ve gone over how to declutter toys I want to answer some more frequently asked questions about decluttering toys.

If you’d like to see the video of me decluttering our playroom you can watch that video below!

Extra tips for purging toys

  • Try not to be too sentimental about it. I tend to think about who gave the toy, where it came from, etc. but I remind myself that if it’s not being enjoyed and extremely sentimental (like one gift from a loved one who has passed away, etc.) then it’s better to let someone else enjoy it.
  • Consider what toys your kids actually play with vs what YOU want them to play with.
  • A few good toys is better than a lot of mediocre toys. Kids get overwhelmed even if they can’t tell you they are. If you’re overwhelmed by the mess, they’re finding it hard to function in there as well. If your kid is a toy dumper this might be a sign that they have too many choices.

How to declutter soft toys

I find that people have a lot of trouble getting rid of stuffed animals because they’re more sentimental and less likely to break than plastic toys. When decluttering anything I generally look at each item and pull out the “nonnegotiable” items with a promise to go back through the rest after I’m done.

Usually I see how many “nonnegotiable” items there are and see that the others aren’t as important so I end up ditching the rest.

How to organize toys in the playroom

Organizing a playroom depends on so many factors like the size of the room, what kind of storage there is, the age of the kids, the types of toys, etc.
However some basic things to keep in mind when organizing a playroom are:

  • Don’t overcrowded shelves just to have more toys out
  • Keep the height you put toys appropriate for the children ages/sizes
  • If you want some order to the room having some matching containers helps from things looking too busy/unorganized even if the items inside aren’t very organized

What toys to keep when decluttering

Open ended toys are great toys to keep. That means toys that don’t just have one function, one button to push, etc. Blocks, legos, cars, etc. are great toys because they can be used so many different ways.

I also find it’s important to respect my children’s opinions when decluttering. After all these are THEIR toys so if they really love a toy I will not overrule them and get rid of it.

I will always take into consideration what toys my kids love even if it’s a loud, obnoxious battery operated toy. But that doesn’t mean I won’t hope that they won’t move on from it soon so it can go in the “donate” box.

Decluttering your playroom can be a daunting task. If you watch the video below of my decluttering my kids playroom you’ll see that you can make it pretty doable if you’re focused and make quick decisions.It shouldn’t take more than a day to do this and if it does take longer you’ll lose steam!


I hope you found this information about how to declutter toys helpful! If you have any extra tips I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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