It can be really hard to declutter toys
Especially when you have so many. The key to figuring out how to let them go is to get to the root of why you have so many in the first place. Which is why this episode and blog is going to share 7 reasons you have so many toys, and how to have less!
1. It seems like your kids play with it all
But when you really observe your kids, are they playing with it all? Or are you and them used to having it around. Do they pick it up and move it out of their way to get to their favorite? Do they avoid playing with it entirely? On the surface, it is easy to think they are playing with it all. The reality is they aren't, and probably can't. It's just too much!
2. You get caught up in the future potential
You see how your kids might play with it when they're older. There are so many educational benefits they could experience. Or, you might have more kids in the future who will use it. Maybe you are holding onto a bank of toys for your younger kids, hoping and thinking they might be the ones to use them!
It's okay to part with the potential. The reality of having a simple to play in space is much better!
3. Not wanting to be wasteful, of the money or resources
We spend a lot of money on toys! Of course we don't want to waste that. The money is already gone though, and I do know it feels like you're losing the money again when you let those toys go for free, or for pennies on the dollar compared to what you spent.
4. You don't want to upset your kids
Of course you don't. No one does. You can guide them through this process gently and firmly. The best place I believe to start is by decluttering your own things first, and leading by example. Show them you practice what you preach. Let them see it is safe to let things go, and actually brings a lot of relief and benefit when they do!
5. They want to keep everything, even things that aren't toys
Decluttering is a skill, and your kids have probably never learned this. Maybe you haven't either. It can be learned though! And you can learn it together. When it comes to kids wanting to keep everything, even the things they don't play with it's important to consider their ages and stages of development. It is developmentally normal for kids to notice and attach to things in their physical world.
Another thing to consider if your kids are wanting to keep everything and very resistant to letting go, is what is going on in their lives. Things like moving to a new home, divorce, a new sibling, starting school and more can impact the way children attach to their things. It can also make them resistant to letting go because holding on gives them a sense of control. This is beyond my scope of ability to help but it can point you in the right direction to learn more about this and seek the support you and your children might need! Sometimes kids (and adults) really can't declutter and need some additional support.
6. Plastic waste and landfills
The reality is that once the toys are made, the damage is done. What you can do is stop your personal contribution to the waste. One of the most mindful and least wasteful things you can do is declutter. To see how much you purchased that you didn't really need and get to a place where you don't do that again!
7. We are surrounded by expert marketers whose entire job is to sell us toys
There are so many jargony toys out there. Boxes have curated photos and descriptions that make us as parents think the toy is exactly what our kids need in order to have a successful childhood and life.
Kids are going to learn, grow and develop and they can't be stopped. Sometimes toys are great tools to help that process along, but ultimately, it's not essential. What kids benefit more from is having a home that is easy to be in, easy to understand and parents who aren't overwhelmed by keeping up with the toy messes.