DIY/Household Stuff Guilty Pleasures Parenting

The Art of the Toy Rotation

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Art of the Toy Rotation

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My children have too many toys. This has become even more apparent as I am unpacking in the new house and trying to fit everything into a nice, neat spot.

The older kids’ room has been last on my to-do list for exactly this reason…I am dreading where to put all of their toys. Every time I think I have unpacked the last box of toys, I find another one.

But now that I have all the toys in the house, I know that I need an innovative solution. I don’t want the room crammed wall to wall with toys. I don’t even want their closet (and it’s pretty big) crammed wall to wall with toys. I have some toys being stored in the family room. And until we have our basement finished, there is no other place I want to put them.

I mean, they don’t even need all the toys. There are just too many

So last night I made a decision. I had a garbage bag in hand and I was filled with a combination “too many toys/decluttering mission” rage. I was about to do the unthinkable– throw the toys out.

Then I thought, why not just remove half of the toys, put them in boxes, and switch them out at a later date? The kids won’t even realize it, plus in two months those old toys will seem new again!

The only caveat is that I have to do it when they aren’t home. Since they were at preschool this morning, it was the perfect time.

Here is what the toy situation looked like before:



And this was the closet…

Once I started removing half the toys I thought, why not do it with the books? They pick the same ones over and over again at bedtime so maybe this will get them to explore some new options.

Some tips…

-Like I said earlier, do it when your kids aren’t home.

-Don’t take anything too obvious that will be missed immediately.

-Have an excuse ready if/when your child asks, “Where’s that blue race car I got from Target last year?”

-Don’t overthink it. Just pack, pack, and pack some more until you no longer feel like you’re suffocating in a toy pit. Or, decide ahead of time how many boxes/containers you want to fill and just go until they are full. That’s the method I used– I had two boxes and two containers and stopped once they were filled up.

Here are the containers that I filled, plus the “after” room pictures:


I put them in the basement near the holiday decorations. Not pictured: the Doc McStuffins Checkup Center that also got moved to the basement. (Sorry, Doc!)

Here’s an “after” picture of the closet. Ahhhh. My husband always says that I’d prefer it if all the rooms were empty.

He is correct.



I took the Melissa & Doug building blocks and stored them in the cubby space of the bunk bed. Not only are there two huge cubbies on the side of the bed, but each stair is a large drawer. I can’t say enough about how much we love this bunk bed!


After swapping out some of their old books, I had room to put the Halloween ones that we just unpacked from the Halloween box. Next to the bookcase each kid has one bin full of miscellaneous toys. (Mind you, there are still plenty of toys in our family room downstairs.)


Of course, the kids didn’t even notice that more than half their toys went missing today. Typical. Since tomorrow is October 1, I’m going to put in my calendar to swap out the toys again on December 1.

I’m hoping that the newly-discovered toys from the basement will provide enough excitement to tide them over until Santa brings some new ones. In which case, the rotation continues…

**If you’re looking for a place to donate used toys (only plastic ones in good condition with no missing parts), I brought a bunch of ours to a Second Chance Toys dropoff location last year.

Holiday toy collections for Second Chance Toys start in November. (If there isn’t a dropoff in your area, you can organize your own toy drive and they will set you up with a local business that can be used as a dropoff location!)

All toys collected go to disadvantaged children for the holidays.

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