Managing The Toy Clutter

Our daughters birthday was a few days ago. This past weekend we held a little birthday party for her where her family and God parents came over for a BBq and some treats. It was a good day and she had fun which was most important. Being the only young child in the family, she gets a lot of attention. There is nothing this little girl needs. Between her family and our friends she is constantly receiving gifts, it’s sort of insane actually. People love to bring her little toys and treats but for her birthday we outright asked people to please not bring any gifts. Truthfully this was partially selfish as my husband and I are up to our eyeballs in toys and the other part being realistic, she doesn’t need anything.

After the party where every guest in attendance ignored the request for no gifts and seemingly brought two, I am officially feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of stuff one child has. Though we’re unsure if we’re done having kids (thus planning on holding onto everything until said decision is made) I am officially setting plans into action about getting rid of some of her things. Not only do we not have the room for it all, no child needs this much.

too many baby toys


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There are a number of options for handling when your kids have too many toys:


If we decide to round up a bunch of her things to sell I plan to reinvest the money made back into her. People spent money on her so she should get the money redirected to her in some way. If we make money on selling things given to her I will either put the money into her education savings or save it for something she needs (like growing out of her shoes or clothes).


We have a favorite charity that accepts clothing and household goods that we occasionally donate to. I would do the same with her stuff if I didn’t think it was worth selling but that someone else may get enjoyment out of it.  My sister works as a preschool teacher in an area of town with a lot of low-income families. I have also given her stuff in the past to pass along to families who may need it. Other places to donate are shelters for women and children, children’s hospitals, churches or medical centers (think waiting rooms).


There is a massive clothing and toy swap around here every year where people are able to exchange with other family’s for huge items. If you have nothing to exchange things are often for sale but the main logic is to swap.


Despite what I’d like the majority of what has made its way into my home will remain her until we’ve made the decision about future children. At which point we will likely sell or donate when we’re finished.

People love buying little kids gifts. My husband and I have made it quite clear that we would rather have money given to us to invest in her education savings than another stuffed toy or noise maker entering our house and, for the most part, our close friends and family have listened (to that we are so thankful, as will kiddo come graduation day!) but for the other non-listeners in our life, we’ll have to take it one toy at a time and manage the best we can!

17 thoughts on “Managing The Toy Clutter

  1. Toys can over-run your house if you let them! We ended up selling or donating most of our children’s toys as they got older. At some point you just got to get them out of the house.

  2. We don’t have kids yet, but our siblings do. I see the mountains of toys they have. We will most likely sell some and donate the rest. Of course, our first goal is to keep the toys to a limited amount, but that’s coming from a person who doesn’t have a kid yet!

  3. My grandmother used to give my siblings and I a ridiculous amount of toys at Christmas. I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but one thing my mom did was set aside some toys that I refused to part with, hidden in a box. If I didn’t ask for them for a month, she would donate/trash depending on the toy. It was easier that way, since I always professed undying love for all my toys. Thankfully, I’ve grown out of it. 🙂

  4. My wife and I always talk about how we’ll request people make a monetary donation to our kid’s education fund, but I never considered they wouldn’t listen. We honestly have too many toys for our dogs (not saying kids=dogs) but when the clutter gets to be too much, we rotate them out.

  5. I have a 3 year old, so I know how you feel! It seems like my daughter gets gifts every time we see people. The mess can quickly get out of hand. I’m thinking of doing one toy in, one toy out, so that for every new thing that comes in, something old has to go.

  6. Kathy says:

    Every year before Christmas, we had our son go through his toys and choose several he wanted to donate to an agency that went into abusive homes to rescue abused children. They told us sometimes they carried the children out wearing nothing but their PJs and never had time to collect toys. That made an impression on my son who knew he was getting a wonderful Christmas, so he ended up being pretty generous in weeding out his toys.

  7. We manage the toy clutter by rotating toys into the garage right before a birthday or christmas. Later, if our son wants to bring a toy back up from the garage, he picks out a current today to take its place. It’s worked so far!

    We also don’t give our son a lot of toys for his birthday or Christmas, because we know he’ll get them from a lot of other people. That helps us keep our spending down, too.

    We’re expecting another little boy, so we’re loathe to get rid of the toys that our older son used and loved. We’ll see what happens with our youngest outgrows his — they will probably go to a consignment sale except for a box of toys he especially loved. (my mom saved some of my toys and I love seeing how much enjoyment my son gets out of playing with them now)

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