How Kids Thrive with Fewer Toys

As a professional home organizer, I’m frequently contacted when families are at their wit’s end with clutter in the home. Parents with young children are often overwhelmed with the amount of toys and belongings that can quickly take over the home.  But, do children really need all these toys?  With a simple Google search you will find one article after another about parents getting rid of the majority of their kids toys and never looking back. The results are that families are happier with less! Surprisingly, it’s not just the parents; the children are thriving when surrounded with fewer toys.

When children have fewer toys in the home they have time for more:

Creative Play


Playing Outside


Imaginative Play

Drawing, Painting and Coloring

Inventive Play

Time with Pets

Cooperative Play

Now you have an idea of some of the positive effects for children when the number of toys in the home is reduced, but what are the benefits for the parents? One mom said, “I finally got my life back.” Another parent was elated with the way her kids got along together and had cut back on 95 percent of the arguing after most of the toys were donated. She was thrilled to not be dealing with fights and arguments all day. The most impactful was the woman who stated that getting rid of the majority of the toys actually saved her marriage. Of course, I don’t want to forget to mention the amount of time parents gain for obvious reasons like not wasting hours on picking up, organizing and cleaning the mess from toys.  There really are many benefits for both children and adults.

If you are interested in reducing the number of toys in your home here are some tips:

Lead by Example – Let the kiddos see you purge, eliminate and donate items that are no longer of value to you.

Start with a Basic Purge – Toss or donate broken toys or games and puzzles with missing pieces. These items don’t need to be discussed and can be easily discarded because they do not work and no longer serve a purpose.

Gather and Sort- Gather all of the toys in one general area and sort them into categories.  Ask the kids this one powerful question: What do you want to keep?

Organize and Store – Find proper storage and organization systems based on what the kids want to keep and put the items away.

Donate – Donate the rest of the toys. Or you might have a garage sale and/or give toys still in good condition to friends, family or organizations.

Celebrate and Do It Again – Celebrate that you finished this big project and enjoy.  After a few months, you can go through the process again and eliminate even more toys.

Lauren White, Intentional Edit – Professional Organizer, @intentionaledit, hello@intentionaledit.comw

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