“NO MOM – I NEED THAT!”
Is this what you hear every time you try to clean out your kids’ toys? You’d think you were trying to toss out a precious lovey or the train set that they use every day when you’re actually holding a dust covered birthday party favor that you uncovered from the bottom of the toy bin. You know, the one they haven’t seen or thought about since bringing it home 6 months ago? Yep. That one.
This is how it used to go at our house too, until I discovered a genius way to get my kids excited about giving their toys away. Seriously. Seven full bags and one super clean playroom later, I’m ready to share my secret. And this is the time to do it!
This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.
Why You Need To Purge Toys Now
Kids have lots of toys. Mine are no exception. Though we do set limits, it seems like the toys multiply overnight. And there are a lot of good reasons for kids to have less toys. I’ve seen these benefits in my own house, and after we’ve decluttered our playroom my boys are more likely to play together and be more resourceful and inventive in their play.
My house also appreciates a good toy purge. I take care to organize our playroom but it’s not a large space so it can get cluttered quickly. It’s so much easier to maintain order when we have less toys, and both the boys and I enjoy it much more when there is room to move, build, and play.
I like to do a big toy purge at least a month or two before Christmas. Decluttering before Christmas gives us the chance to move out toys that the boys have outgrown, things that aren’t working well or missing pieces, or toys that they are simply no longer interested in. I wanted to involve the boys in the toy purge this year, and find a way that would actually encourage them to want to give away their old toys instead of them “needing” to keep every little trinket. Then I discovered this genius idea and it worked better than I could have imagined.
The Christmas Toy Purge Idea Kids Love
We were at a friend’s house for a playdate recently when she showed me an Old Toys for Santa bag she had ordered from Pottery Barn Kids. I was totally in love with the idea and knew it was perfect for our Christmas toy purge.
The idea is simple – load the bag up with toys for Santa to pick up and deliver to other good girls and boys. The bag is big and sturdy, with an adorable printed note to Santa. It can even be personalized! It’s the perfect way to encourage a spirit of giving (and to declutter) right before Christmas.
Of course, you don’t need the bag to send your old toys to Santa (though I love it!). A large canvas laundry bag would also do the trick, and you could encourage your kids to decorate it with their own art or note to Santa.
Would it work with my boys? I decided to try. We gathered in the playroom and I told them that we were going to start getting ready for Christmas. I explained that Santa would be making a special visit to our house to pick up toys that they didn’t need any more and would bring them to other good girls and boys on Christmas. And that now that they were big boys, it was up to them to decide what he should take. They were so excited and ready to purge! We went through each bin and basket, and I let them choose what would stay and what would go. I was amazed at how ready they were to part with toys that they had outgrown or forgotten, with no tears and no debates.
Once we were done, we wrote a note to Santa and left it out with some cookies and milk. The next morning, the toys were gone! My boys could not have been more excited… and of course, they decided it was time to start writing their Christmas lists. And we have lots of space for new toys to come!
Want to keep those toys organized? Check out my favorite toy storage solutions here.
Planning the Perfectly Organized Christmas
A toy purge is just the first step to planning the perfect Christmas. You know – the one where you get organized, stay under budget, and actually enjoy the time with your family. Next on your list is downloading my Printable Christmas Planner. With over 25 pages of checklists, planning sheets, and extras like gift tags and letters to Santa – including a Something to Wear, Something to Read, Something I Want, and Something I Need version to avoid more toy overload. There’s also a page to plan your Christmas Acts of Kindness and keep the giving spirit alive all season long.