Too Many Toys? How to Get Your Kids Excited about Decluttering

By Tico+Tina

Last updated September 26, 2022

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It’s one thing to get serious about decluttering your own stuff, but completely another when it comes to other people in your family, like when your kids have too many toys…

Although it could be tempting to just sneak stuff out of my kids’ room and hope they don’t notice, as a parent who views her kids as pre-adults rather than lesser members of society, I feel like it’s important to involve them in the process and use it as a learning experience.

How can you deal with the problem of too many toys without being a mean parent? We came up with a great idea that our kids loved!

We had good success with our stuffed animal experiment, so a while ago we came up with this little twist that ups the ante a bit – it’s sort of a reverse garage sale.

  1. Go through your kids’ room/stuff and compile the things you know they don’t really use or need anymore. (Basically, everything you wish they’d get rid of – for us, this was more about picking what we wanted them to keep.)
  2. Price the items according to what you’re willing to pay for them. (You could certainly skip your role as the middle man in this, giving them the actual price from consignment or garage sale after it’s actually sold, and that especially makes sense for older kids. However, this way really helps kids be motivated to get rid of more stuff that they might otherwise not, like random little trinkets/junk – as shown in the video below – that wouldn’t make sense to try to sell.)
  3. Bring your kids in to decide what they feel is worth “selling” to you – it’s pretty fun for them to see how things can add up.
  4. Finalize the sale and clear it out! Win-win!

Tips for this “too many toys” trick:

  • It’s motivational to have an end goal in mind – our kids were saving for a big Lego set, for example.
  • Focus on the benefit of making it easier to keep the room clean – our kids definitely noticed and appreciated the difference.
  • Another good idea would be to gift the items or money to charity.
  • The video below shows how the process went for us.

What do you think?

Is this something you would use with your kids? Why or why not?

We're well-acquainted with being stuck in soul-sucking survival mode, and the intense internal friction of not living in alignment with your potential. We're all about discovering, creating, and sharing adulting cheat codes™ so you can level up faster! -David (Tico) & Chris(tina)

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