Does your child have too many toys?

Between birthdays, Christmas, just-because purchases, and other occasions, it can feel like your child’s toy collection can go from totally manageable to entirely overwhelming in the blink of an eye.

It’s important to keep your child’s toys manageable and organized. As most parents know, it doesn’t take much for your kid’s toys to get messy and out of control. And when that happens, it might be a good idea to get rid of some of your child’s toys. 

If you’re looking for some tips on purging toys, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ll share some ways you and your family can get rid of too many toys. Read on to learn how to get rid of toys, organize the toys you keep, and more.

Getting Rid of Clutter: Why You Should Purge Toys Regularly

I’m a big fan of decluttering. I like living in a simpler, more streamlined environment. There’s less to clean. Less to worry about.

And it’s made me realize the value I place in the things I own. I make more intentional purchases when I do buy things, and I make sure anything I buy has a place where it belongs in my home.

Some people don’t quite get the appeal of decluttering. They struggle to figure out how to get rid of too many toys because they find reasons to hold onto them. Things hold sentimental value, after all – and you spent good money on them.

But the benefits of decluttering, in my opinion, are too significant to ignore. And while it isn’t too hard to see as an adult, it can be a difficult concept for kids to grasp – which is why you’ve got to step in and help.

Not sure how you’ll benefit from getting rid of toys and other clutter in your life? Studies have shown that living in a cluttered, disorganized space can elevate your stress levels.

By keeping your home as clutter-free as possible, you’ll stress less. And less stress usually leads to more happiness – which is something all of us are looking for.

Purge your kid’s toys, and you might be surprised to see just how much less stress you feel when you’re relaxing at home.

how to get rid of toys

Time For a Toy Purge: How Many Are Too Many Toys? 

You might be asking, “How do I know if my child has too many toys?”

It’s a great question – and one that doesn’t have a simple answer. There are a lot of factors that influence how many toys your child should own, but there’s no “right” or “wrong” number. 

However, there are some clear signs that your kid has too many toys:

You don’t have a place to put all of your child’s toys. Is your kid’s toy box literally overflowing? Is your child’s bed buried out of sight beneath stuffed animals? Are you constantly tripping over stuff in their room because they simply don’t have room to put it away?

IF the answer is “yes” to any of those questions, your kid probably has too many toys.

Your child plays with some toys – and totally ignores others. If your child shows a clear preference for some toys over others, it might be time to get rid of the ones that they aren’t interested in. If they’re simply taking up space, they could be better put to use by someone who needs them. 

Your kid can never find the toy they’re looking for. A clear sign your child has too many toys? They can’t ever find the toy they actually want to play with. If they’re left frustrated each time they’re looking for a specific thing, it’s time to ask yourself how to get rid of too many toys. 

Is it Bad For a Child to Have Too Many Toys?

Is there such a thing as having too many toys? 


There has been some research that shows having too many toys can have a negative impact on children. Specifically, kids with too many toys can be more easily distracted and ultimately get less value out of play.

Young children can struggle to decide what they actually want to play with when faced with too many options. And having too many toys can have surprising implications as kids grow, with one study reporting that having too many toys can cause children to struggle with the concept of valuing the things they own.

how to get rid of toys

How to Donate, Trash, and Organize Kids Toys

If you’re ready to purge the toys in your home, it’s a good idea to get your kid involved in the process. They might not love the idea of getting rid of their stuff – but they definitely won’t like it if you get rid of their toys without their knowledge. 

Working together to determine which toys stay and go, and how to organize them moving forward, can be a great project to tackle as a family. 

Use the Three Pile Method to Clean Out Toys

An easy way to tackle your child’s toys and determine what stays and what goes is what I like to call the Three Pile Method. 

The first pile is the ‘donate’ pile. This pile is the perfect place for:

  • Books your child has outgrown
  • Puzzles they’ve already solved
  • Toys in good condition that they no longer want or need

The second pile is the ‘trash’ pile. While I always recommend donating as much as you can, there are some things that can’t be donated, like toys in poor condition or puzzles with missing pieces. 

The last pile is the ‘keep’ pile. These are the toys you’re going to organize later on. The types of toys we opted to keep are ones that encourage creativity and imagination.

To limit the amount of toys we keep, we’ve found it helpful to provide what we feel are the appropriate sized storage containers. The kids then get to decide what stays and what goes, but the containers give them boundaries for how much is too much.

Donate Toys in Good Condition to Kids in Need

Chances are, you’re getting rid of some toys that are in great condition – your kid just doesn’t want to play with them anymore, for whatever reason. Instead of sending them to the landfill, give them to someone who could truly use them.

There are many families in need, and many organizations out there dedicated to helping them get the resources they need – including clothes, books, and toys for kids who would otherwise not have any. Not sure where to donate toys? Here are a handful of ideas:

  • Search online for local charities and choose an organization that’s going to support kids in your community. 
  • Contact nearby children’s homes to see if they could use them. Chances are, they would appreciate the donation. 
  • If your child attends daycare, see if they could use them! 
  • Reach out to nearby churches, which often support families in the community and may know of someone who could directly benefit from them. 
  • Post on your local Buy Nothing group

Trash (or Recycle) the Toys You Can’t Donate

Once you’ve donated the toys that can still bring joy to other kids, it’s time to get rid of the rest. Before you haul them to the dump or put them in the bin for garbage collection, see if there’s a way to recycle them.

The easiest way to do that? Make a quick phone call. Search online for your local recycling service, give them a ring, and ask them if they recycle toys – and if they do, what you need to know. Chances are, they won’t be able to accept everything you’re looking to purge, but they may surprise you!

simple and easy toy storage solutions

Get Organized with the Right Storage Solutions

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Once you’ve finished your toy purge, it’s time to put everything away. Every toy should have its proper place, and it should be easy for your child to keep things in order. 

You might need to implement a new system to store your child’s toys to keep things organized. Fortunately, there are plenty of storage solutions on the market to make organizing your kid’s toys easier than ever. 

A few storage options I love include:

Quick Tips for Avoiding Too Many Toys in the Future

Once you’ve figured out how to get rid of too many toys, it’s important to make sure you don’t end up in the same overwhelming position.

Keeping toy clutter under control isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort – and as long as you’re willing to commit, I guarantee you can make it happen.

Gift Experiences, Not Things

An easy way to cut down on the number of toys your child owns is to give experiential gifts – not physical ones. Instead of buying your child a new toy, get them tickets to the zoo or an amusement park, plan a day at the beach, or visit a local zip-line park for an afternoon adventure.

You’ll make amazing memories together, have tons of fun, and not have to worry about stuffing more toys into your child’s toy box at the end of the day.

Have conversations with family members and grandparents and request that they stop buying so many gifts. Give them alternate suggestions that your kids would still enjoy but won’t create clutter in your home.

Rotate Toys

If it feels like you’re starting to accumulate too many toys, consider rotating your child’s toys instead of keeping them all out at once. Get a plastic storage bin and fill it with anything you don’t think they need access to – then, put it away.

Not only is this a great way to avoid having too many toys, it keeps things fresh and exciting.

Make Purging Toys a Habit

An easy way to keep toys under control is to never let them get too out of hand. Using the Three Pile Method once every six months – or, at the very least, once a year before the holiday season – can be a great way to stay on top of things.

Put it on your calendar, and commit to making it happen. Creating decluttering habits will help prevent the toys from getting out of control again.

how to get rid of toys

The Bottom Line? Purging Toys is Good For You – and For Your Kid, Too!

Even though your child won’t love the idea of purging toys, they’ll be glad you did it once it’s done – they just might not realize it! 

While having too many toys won’t kill you, it can make you pretty unhappy, stressed, and overwhelmed. When you purge toys your kid no longer wants or needs, you create a better environment for play – and a cleaner, less cluttered home. And equipped with the tips on purging toys I’ve shared, you have everything you need to make it happen!

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