Want to know how to get rid of toys without drama? I know, those two phrases don’t seem to go together, but getting rid of toys and giving toys away can become something simple and something your child can do willingly if we use the right steps. Not only will getting rid of toys open up more space, get rid of broken toys or toys missing pieces, but will allow your child learn kindness as they give toys they no longer play with away to those less fortunate.

help your kids get rid of some toys - teddy bear toy
It is ok, getting rid of toys doesn’t have to be traumatic!

Getting Rid Of Toys Without THe Drama

Getting rid or toys can be pretty traumatizing to kids of all ages. To avoid all the drama and unnecessary tears, follow these steps to some peaceful, joyful   separation with some toys. I promise the whole family will benefit from it. Especially in the long run.

Get rid of toys? WHAT? That’s the phrase not many (if any) kids want to hear.

Benefit of Less Toys for Kids

Why getting rid of (most) toys (and keeping that way) is super good idea…

1. Increases Ability to Focus

Having too many toys in the room is overstimulating and can make it harder for kids to focus on some tasks and things they should be learning at the particular age.

2. Increases Creativity

By having less toys in their room kids will become more creative on coming up with games to play.

3. Helps Them Prioritize What is Important

When kids have never had to think about what toys are their favorites or which they don’t really like, all of their toys mean less. It reminds me of the quote…

If everything is important, then nothing is.

-Patrick M. Lencioni

4. Improves Kids Organization Ability

Getting rid of toys and then setting up the remaining area with what is truly their favorite can help the structure their play area or room in a way that is organized and has a place for everything.

5. Donating Toys Simplifies Childhood

Last but not the least. It’s important to teach your kids as early as possible about donating and living more simple lives, enjoying their childhoods while having less toys.

get rid of toys - child with a big basket of donated items
Let’s figure out what to donate!

Strategies How to happily get rid of toys

1. Talk About the Goal of Less Toys with Kids

Make it a serious conversation.   The best time is to do this during family meetings where everybody could state their concerns and suggest some tips on how to do this better.

Have some pretty good reasons that will convince them that getting rid of some toys is actually a super cool idea. Here are few that I used in the past:

  • you will have much more space to play. You can finally built your cardboard sculptures or maybe have a dace party with your friends.
  • you will not have to clean that much.
  • you will always find your favorite toys, because they won’t be cluttered under the ones that you don’t even play with.
  • you will always be playing with your favorite toys
  • you will feel awesome to give that toy to someone who really wants it.

2. Make The Toy Purge Playful and Super Fun

This our very favorite one! Here is what I did once and my daughter loved it!

We had a pretend garage sale/donation in her room. We would lay all the toys and clothes that she thought she didn’t need anymore on the blankets all around the room and put fake prices on them. She would be the sales person and I with my husband would be the shoppers. We would bargain and try to put the price down. It was a lot of fun. Especially when most of the price tags included kisses, hugs, tickles and airplane rides (in daddy hands). Well spend afternoons for sure!

Watch this video of my daughter deciding to declutter her room. She has a pretty good reason to do so. For some extra laugh read 10 funny things kids do (and say) to avoid room cleaning. I am sure you can relate to some of them.

3. Involve the Kids in the Entire Process

Just bringing boxes or trash bags to the room will definitely scare a child and make him sad. Instead try to involve them in every step from the very beginning, which is deciding where, how, when, how much.

4. Give Them a Choice within Boundaries

Make them feel like they are the decision makers here. Here is how I do it: Sofia, here are 15 barbie dolls and 29 barbie outfits. It’s very hard to take care of so many dolls and so many outfits. So which ones would you like to give to other girls so they can be in charge of? Choose 3 of your very favorite dolls and 6 outfits.

5. Don’t Rush the Decision Process

Give them time so decide which toys do they want to part with. It’s not an easy decision for many kids, so the more thought they put in, less regrets they will have. I usually do the talk first and then go in the room with the kids, prepare the room for the “fake garage sale game” and then give them few days to sort things out if they need to.

6. Don’t throw away anything

Kids will more likely (after a good talk) give away their toys to someone rather than see it in the trash bin. Find places to donate all the toys, clothes and other belongings. It’s a fun process for the kids too. Make sure you involve them as much as possible in this.

If you see that your child might play with some toys later, separate them and keep them away for a while. If they miss it and ask for it give it to them. IF they haven’t asked or mentioned it in few months I would donate those toys as well.

8. Keep the memory of the toy  

If there is a toy that they really loved and played with when they were little but now they outgrown it and doesn’t play with it anymore, keep the memory of it. I did it once and I turned out super awesome. Take a picture of the toy or clothing that your kid is having hard time parting with, print it, frame it and hang it in the room. This way the child will always see and remember it and there will be no hard feelings.

how to get rid of toys

9. Never Get Upset During this Process

Do not get angry or show negative feelings. Understand that it’s a hard task for children to separate with some of the things they love. Some kids take it easier and some not as much. If needed take this process slow and with big patience (and a big smile would help too) and remember to put yourself in their shoes.

10. Reduce, reduce, reduce  

It’s the last one, but I think the most important tip. You should actually start from this one. Rethink and re valuate the amounts of toys and clothes your kids are getting. Maybe you need to limit birthday and holiday presents in order to not end up with   so many stuff every few months.

We have a rule for birthdays and holidays where parents give presents for holidays and grandparents for birthdays.   This way kids don’t end up getting multiple things on a single occasion.

More Toy Organization & Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How do you encourage kids to get rid of toys?

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  1. Yep, to this day….can’t forgive my mom for selling my legos at a garage sale. I mean c’mon mom…I coulda been playing with them RIGHT NOW! 😛

  2. Great article. I had a traumatic experience as a kid where I wasn’t able to decide what to keep due to undiagnosed ADD and my parents couldn’t cope with my hanging on to things and never letting go. They eventually got fed up and bagged up all my stuff in garbage bags and threw it away. I now have hoarding issues and stress around throwing things away. I think it’s important to involve your child in the process and TEACH them how to let go instead of expecting them to know how to.
    Another tip I use with my son is to explain the unused toys will go on vacation and I put them in the garage and tell him if he misses any of them while their gone we’ll send them home and if he doesn’t they will move to new homes. It works really well because he rarely misses them, and because letting go stresses him out because he he said he “LOVES all his toys”.

    1. Thank you for sharing that with us, Naomi! I am so sorry that happened to you. Yes, it is very important to involve kids in the process. Letting go is never easy!

  3. I found it interesting when you explained why it’s a good idea to declutter a child’s room by reducing their toys. A few weeks ago, my wife and I realized our daughter has too many dolls lying around the house. We think it might be time to start decluttering our space, but we’re not sure how to do it, so we’ll be sure to keep reading your article! We appreciate your advice on how to help our kid let go of the toys she doesn’t use!

  4. There is NEVER a good reason to make children give up their toys. That is incredibly cruel. Let the kids decide when they are ready to separate from their toys. I lost so many toys I loved as a child because of my parents and I’ve never forgiven them for it, even though I am now 34 years old. You may not think so, but your kids WILL resent you for the rest of their lives, even if they don’t show it.

  5. Love hearing from more experienced moms what books their kids enjoyed! I’ve heard & read a few of these myself, but most of them are new to me! Pinning for when my son gets older! I hope to enjoy reading them to him until he is “far too old for bedtime stories”. ?