Toy clutter—utter those words and you’ll hear a collective sigh among the mom community. Clearly the minimalism trend has not trickled down to our tots. How did we get so many (bleeping) toys?! Blame birthdays, Santa Claus, or Grandma, but at the end of the day we know it’s our job to keep Mount Toymore in check.

The moms in our #Momforce by Chatbooks Facebook group have come up with some great strategies for cutting back on your toy mongering:

1. Perform a quality inspection. Get rid of any toys that are broken. Don’t make excuses! The chances of you remembering Super Glue on your next Target run are slim. The chances of you actually taking time from your kid-packed schedule to Super Glue a broken toy are basically nonexistent. While you’re at it, eliminate any toys with missing pieces or those in need of batteries. Sometimes those noisy, over-stimulating toys aren’t worth the cost of new batteries. What was once a hit at a birthday party, is not often worth maintaining.

2. Plan a rescue mission. Make a pile of all of the toys you feel have fulfilled their purpose in your child’s life. Allow your child to “rescue” one or two items. Donate or toss the rest, depending on their condition. This one works so well because your child has some control over the process, which makes him or her more willing to part with less beloved toys.

3. Donate! Before Christmas or each birthday, encourage your little one to “make room for new toys” by donating a few of the old ones. Encourage your wee one to thoughtfully choose a few toys a needy child would love. Putting the “new toy” spin on this helps them let go. And it’s a great opportunity to teach your kiddo generosity and compassion. There are many options for toy donation, some of which will even pick them up! Toys for Tots is a great place to donate! 

4. Make a fresh start. Empty the playroom. Literally, take everything out. Only put back the toys your children absolutely love and play with often. Between holidays, birthdays, and grandparents, toy clutter can creep up on us. Starting fresh can give you some perspective and allow you to be intentional about what stays in your home.

5. Work with a rotation. Employ the library system. Stash excess toys in storage containers and tuck them away. Be sure to only pull new toys out by swapping them with the current toys. If your little one is old enough, she can “check out” a new toy by returning a current one. This method is a great space saver and makes old toys feel new again.

Sometimes you just have to take the toys away. It seems harsh, but nine times out of ten you’ll find your children don’t even request them back. They simply play with what’s left. Amazing how that works doesn’t it?! Good luck with your decluttering efforts! You’ve got this, mama!

The #Momforce by Chatbooks Facebook group is a community and support group for women hosted by Chatbooks. Join us here for tips, tricks, and mom relief efforts.