Decluttering the toys before Christmas

If your kids are lucky enough to receive lots of gifts on Christmas Day, in can sometimes be overwhelming to think about how and where you're going to store all these new goodies. Doing a quick sort through and declutter of the toy collection before Christmas will make these decisions a whole lot easier. Not only will you be making space available for the new toys, you'll also be able to donate the older or less-used ones to children who would really appreciate them, especially at this time of year.

One of the main reasons I wanted to declutter our toys, apart from preparing for the Christmas influx, was because our living room bookcase was starting to look quite crowded and cluttered. I didn't want all the toys and books on display anymore, as there is enough room for these things in the kids' bedrooms. They do still play mainly in the living room (when they're not running around the house with capes or jumping on our bed!), so I needed to keep the majority of the toys here. The boxes just needed some rearranging and sorting.

Here's what I started with...

The bottom right basket of stuffed toys was definitely not big enough to hold everything and and there were also random toys (hey there Makka Pakka!) that didn't quite fit in the toy storage baskets.

The book piles were also looking messy, and a lot of them were more baby books that my kids didn't look through anymore, or could be moved onto bookcases in their rooms. 

I also wasn't loving the magazines on display here and wanted to do a bit of reconfiguring!

As always, the first step in any good organising project is to empty everything off the shelves so you're left with a blank slate (also a good opportunity for a thorough clean!).

The baskets and books were all spread out to be sorted through, and I brought some storage baskets through from the kids' rooms to do a bit of toy switcheroo[ing]. I had my little buddy close by for some tough toy decisions. I encourage you to do the toy decluttering with your kids, especially if they are a bit older, so they can be part of the process of making decisions for what they no longer use or need.  

I picked up this great storage basket for my daughter's bedroom makeover (which I promise to share with you soon!) from Adairs. It was the perfect size for holding the stuffed toys (as well as clearing out a few), and now sits in her bedroom rather than out in the living area.

I also switched up the contents of some of the storage baskets to hold items the kids play with more regularly, rather than having them in their rooms.

I sorted the toys back into their baskets, so we have the train set, musical, large books/games, building/construction and balls. We do also have a 'random' basket of toys that is definitely not my favourite, but sometimes toys just don't fit into a specific category! I decided to put the smaller white basket of board books into my daughter's room as well, as she still enjoys ripping through these....literally. The other basket holds our DVD collection and headphones. And I even had a spare box left over after the clear-out! 

Here's how I rearranged the shelves...

Still making tweaks here and there with accessorising these shelves, but it's looking a lot less cluttered. The toy collection in the living area has also definitely been sorted down to a more manageable level, as have the ones in the kids' bedrooms. Getting rid of a lot of the larger baby toys has also given us quite a bit more storage space.

So why not give this project a go before Christmas Day arrives. Get your little elves to help you out, and reduce your stress-levels after Christmas when you have to find storage space for all the new things. Let me know how you go! And don't forget to grab your free toy organising labels on the link below to get your toy clutter sorted!

How do you sort your kids' toy collection? Do you like having the kids help you, or do you prefer to do it when they're not there so you can be more ruthless!?

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