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Getting Your Kids To Declutter The Toys

Looking to declutter the toys? Want your kids to help?

As we approach the holiday season most of us are looking to declutter some of the toys to make room for likely the crazy amount of new ones.

Now I typically will actually go through my kids rooms and toy boxes and get rid of toys myself. My in laws occasionally like to take my kids for the weekend and I use this time to sneak out things while they aren’t looking.

Most of the time they never even notice. Except that one time…….

Yeah I may have donated a barbie house my daughter got from someone that was in the back of her closet and she never used. She had proclaimed she no longer wanted to play with Barbies and gave them all to her sister; who has a barbie doll house too.


Weeks later she came to me, “Mom, where is my green Barbie house?”.

Oh no.

“Well, ummmmm Mommy thought you were done playing with it so she gave it to another little girl that is playing with it.”

*Insert tears and pleas to ask for it back*

So I was going to be smart about it this time. I told the girls it was time to go through the toys they had. There was an overflow and some other little girls or boys could benefit from these toys. Which they were already on board with. They usually are. (I’m lucky I know).

A trend however I notice, especially with my older daughter (6) is she is starting this sentimental value to things. So I made them a deal. If they could EACH fill a blue recycle bag of toys to donate I would take them to the store to get them one single new toy. Within reason of course.

At first I let them go at the toy box while I did dishes or something but I noticed a lack of progress. So I decided I go through it with them. .We started to declutter  the shared toybox on the main floor, which they were highly motivated to go through.

By the time we moved up to their rooms things got a bit more challenging. I started in my older daughters bedroom because I new if her younger sister (4) saw her big sister decluttering, she would. As we worked through her room, we would come across a couple situations and here is how I handled them.

  • Slight sentimental value – Not like her favourite doll her grandma gave her the toy but so and so gave it to her, even though she doesn’t care about it anymore. I would ask, “Do you think you will still have this memory with auntie if you don’t have this toy?” Or “Are there other things you have that remind you of your friend?” But at no point did I force her. She was allowed to keep something she really cared for.
  • I paid a lot for the toy – yeah I got hung up here a bit too. But I tried to give these toys to friends and family or sell them.
  • Multiples – This is an unnerving theme I noticed. They had a lot of the same toys! But especially teddy bears! So I would ask her “If you have 4 brown teddy bears, can you maybe keep one you really love and donate the rest?” and this she usually was pretty good with doing.

After it was all done they both had a full bag of toys to donate and as promised their Dad and I took them to the store and got them a toy.

They happened to both pick out a Fingerling (which I’ve heard is the hot toy for Christmas this year, so bonus they already have them!!!) And they were content. In addition, they helped us drop off the toys and got see and do the good deeds.

Want to get your kids to help declutter?

We teamed up with  

to give away a $100 gift card to help you buy those special toys your kids are after! Head over to our Facebook and post a picture of your kids’ donation pile (BIG OR SMALL!) in the comments to be entered to win the $100 gift card!

Did you know?

Mastermind Toys is Canada’s largest specialty toy and children’s books retailer with 60 locations! 

Mastermind Toys always offers free gift-wrapping on all in-store purchases! 

Mastermind Toys carries over 10,000 carefully curated specialty toys and books that their experienced toy buying team has sourced and hand-picked from across the globe! 

The Mastermind Toys Digital Gift Guide

is available at


The Bitchin' Housewife

Jen is a yoga teacher, fitness enthusiast, and health blogger over at