Today's mission is to continue the task of decluttering toys that we started yesterday, as part of the Declutter 365 missions.
Why do I have several days of missions devoted to getting rid of toy clutter? Because if you've got lots of toys you're going to need several days to work on it within the Declutter 365 calendar.
That's why I encourage you to always work in 15 minute increments, and do as many of those 15 minute sessions as you need to get the job done.
All of these toy-related missions are designed to be done while we work through the Organize Toys & Games Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.
Of course, you can do these tasks whenever you feel like you need to within your home, such as when you or your kids feel overwhelmed with the amount of toys you have in space you've got available for them.
Yesterday we started the process by doing some of the easy toy decluttering, by getting rid of broken toys, or those that were outgrown.
Today, we're focused on small toys, such as those with small parts, or sets of toys that are designed to be played with in a group.
Examples of sets of toys include things like building blocks or Lego, where you need many of them to actually play and use them, as well as things like a train set or other collections of toys that all revolve around the same set of characters.
Often when decluttering toy sets, and toys with small parts, it can feel overwhelming to try to find all the tiny pieces of these toys, or all of the toys within the set, so you can make a decision about what to do with them -- keep them, donate them, sell them, or trash them.
That's why I suggest you go through a round or two of sorting out toys you come across during the decluttering process, before making decisions about these types of sets or toys with small parts.
I think it's easiest to illustrate what I mean by this with an example, so I'm going to tell you what I recently did in my youngest daughter's room, when helping her declutter toys.
My youngest child's room was honestly a bit of a mess, even when I'd ask her to clean it up, which was my clue that she probably had gotten too much toy clutter in her room, and we needed to take some of the stuff out of her bedroom.
With everything in the room a jumble, lots of toy sets had pieces here and there and everywhere, instead of all of them being together in one container, like you'd ideally have them.
One toy that gave me some special difficulties while decluttering was her Lite Brite. She'd played with it regularly at one point, but by then she couldn't find enough of the little Lite Brite pegs to actually use it much. As with many toys with small parts, when the toy has lost too many of its essential small parts it becomes useless. That meant she was currently not using it (a sure sign it should be decluttered), but also it meant that because it didn't have all (or most) of its small parts we couldn't sell it or donate it, since you shouldn't donate trash.
I also knew, though, that I frequently came across little Lite Brite pegs as I cleaned up her room, or decluttered various cubbies, shelves. That meant they weren't really gone for good, just not all organized and put together like they needed to be.
Therefore, instead of decluttering the Lite Brite right away while we decluttered her room I set it aside, along with designating a special area near the toy to collect all its small pieces, the little pegs, as we came across them during the decluttering process.
We still dealt with what we could as we came across it, but we knew that a toy sort was necessary first, before we were able to make decisions about those toys with small parts, or toys that were part of a set.
You can't make good decisions about what to do with something until you've got the whole thing gathered into one place.
As we sorted through the cubbies in her room, and the stuff on the floor, we would add a Lite Brite peg from here and there to the growing pile as we went along. Then, at the end of the sorting process we were able to make a better decision about what to do with the Lite Brite.
She decided, even after seeing a nice pile of Lite Brite pegs available for the toy again that she wasn't interested in playing with it anymore. That meant we decided it would definitely be decluttered, but instead of having to throw it away (which is what I would have had to do if I'd gotten rid of it at the beginning of the decluttering process) I was able to add the Lite Brite light box to the donation box along with a good number of pegs (enough to make the toy again functionally useful), so someone else could enjoy it.
Using that story about the Lite Brite and the pegs as an example, I hope you better understand what I'm suggesting you do today, and throughout the rest of the time you're decluttering toys -- that is to take a bit of extra time to sort the toys more before making your final decisions about toy sets and toys with small parts.
That means as you come across toys like this, during the decluttering process, you should set them aside, within a designated space where you can collect all the parts you find during the clean up and decluttering process, and then, only at the end make decisions about everything you find, once it's all gathered together.
That allows you to see if certain toys you'd assumed were useless are instead salvageble for play, or to sell or donate as a set, instead of feeling like you need to trash individual components.
Once you've decluttered these types of toys, any that you are keeping should be organized. Here are a couple of articles on the site that can help you with ideas, at least for a few types of these toys.
Here are lego storage ideas.
In addition, here are nerf storage and organization ideas, for blasters and accessories.
The photos below were provided by two different readers, who worked on this mission, with the Paw Patrol toys sent in by Lindsay, and the Thomas the Train set of toys sent in by another reader, Sandi.
Lindsay said of the top photo in the collage, "Currently working on decluttering toys (again!). Our toy room was a disaster and my kids weren't cleaning up. So I said fine, I'll clean up but I'm selling anything I don't want! They were okay with that! My 4 year daughter has decided to part with her Paw Patrol collection. She is saving half of the money she makes by selling them to save up to visit her uncle and aunt and the rest she can spend however she wants. Here's just the Paw Patrol headed out the door this week! Feels great!"
Sandi explained that she'd pulled these Thomas the Train and tracks from her son's room for decluttering.
In addition, another reader, Eleanor, sent in the photo below, where she gathered up all the toys to declutter, including lots of small toys and those with small parts.
I hope seeing these pictures and instructions have inspired you to declutter excess toys from your house.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
You can also do the next Declutter 365 mission, which is to declutter toy boxes and containers.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!