Toy Minimalism What to Keep

Minimalism was a scary word for me. I loved the concept but badly wanted the clean open spaces, which almost looked fairy like.

The problem was, I do not know how to organize, I had too much stuff, I was unwell and couldn’t move around much.

This was probably the lowest point in my life. The first thing I came across was the Flylady method. I watched many ladies on YouTube use the FlyLady method to clean the house and keep it organized ( enough).

Next, I came across Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I tried it and reduced my clutter a lot.

My house was now livable and you could actually breathe in it. Especially the Playroom.

My video was picked up by Better Home and Gardens India and I was mentioned in their article on Marie Kondo.

I still was not happy with the results. There was something missing.

That is when I came across minimalism. Looking at the stark white clean rooms, lifted my Spirits. This was something I craved for, clean spaces, open spaces and less cleaning and stress.

Minimalism is essentially just keeping the practical stuff you need and love. For me it is living stress free with as less as I can possibly live with.

In our house I desperately needed minimalism in my kitchen and in the playroom.

What is Toy Minimalism?

Minimalism is the desire for simplicity.

MINIMALISM IS INTENTIONALITY. It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

Joshua Becker

What is Toy Minimalism? Toy minimalism is removing toys from our house, so that we create kids playspaces which are open, inviting, intentional, creative. Each toy has a purpose in our lives and the toys which are no longer blessing our family bless other kids.

Benefits of Toy Minimalism

I am so grateful for the concepts of minimalism. I am not a true minimalist, living with very few things. I still have quite a few things, but I know that I am in happy space right now.

Reducing and minimalising and almost literally putting a stop to mindless toy purchases has helped our family achieve a lot over the years.

#1 Kids are Happier

This is one of the most important benefits for my house. Both my kids, are so happy an content. It makes me feelso happy that I became the mean person and just got rid of all the stuff.

They don’t even miss it. They are excited with whats left behind.

#2 More Playtime

They play for longer hours now. I feel maybe it is because they no longer have to decide what to play with. The choices are less, so they can enjoy what they have more.

Hence I fell they are spending a lot more time playing. Sometimes I feel, is that too much 🙂

#3 Purposeful Play

Play has taken an all new meaning at my house now. They play with intention, are extremely creative and are innovating things.

My son wouldn’t read at all before. Now he reads, plays, then looks at pictures in books and tries to create the objects he sees in them.

I have never seen him this curious, he is always inventing stuff and figuring out how things work.

This has taken his learning to all new level. I also have seen a tremendous increase in his grades at school and he is very contended.

The what to do next questions have reduced a lot as they are no longer bored.

# Sharing and Less Fights

Sibling rivalry has reduced a lot. Except for the occasional fights, there is not much trouble. Both kids play together, they discuss things and play more. This is kind of a miracle, because I was helpless before on how to handle the constant fights, tears.

# Zero Stress

This is more for me as a mom as I am the one who cleans up. The constant nagging from my part has stopped ( almost).

There is not much putting away to be done, so the spaces are self-cleaned ( if that is a word).

This was the most stressful activity for me. I read up books on cleaning up, having routines, chores for kids. It all came down to just simplifying stuff and reducing clutter.

Routines have been simplified, usually the only routine is put things away as soon as you are done. Kids now understand that this is easier than doing cleanup before sleep.

Anyways there isnt much to clean and everything has its ome.

# Mindful Purchases

All of our purchases are with purpose. If it is really needed we get the toy or book. The kids themselves evaluate each purchase and there are not many impulse buys.

# More Time

We have more time in the house, to play and enjoy life. Reducing toys has given us the freedom to spend more meaningful activities than cleaning up.

Lesser toys has given us permission to explore nature, go out to play and enjoy outside activities.

# Grateful Attitude

The simple act of decluttering has replaced anger, hatred with kindness, joy, happiness, gratefulness.

We are aware of abundance, the joy already present in our lives and are grateful we can share the joy with others.

How To Declutter Toys

I am no expert at decluttering and definitely NOT at organizing.

Since I am so bad at organizing, it just made logical sense to get rid of toys and keep them limited and manageable. The question was how to keep the kid happy and still manage to reduce.

That is when luckily I came across a book where the author mentioned that each toy should serve a purpose, have unlimited opportunities to play with and be simple.

So keeping this in mind I kept only those toys which followed the criteria mentioned by the author and also some minimalism concepts from Marie Kondo.

Here are the steps I took at my house.

#1 Get All the Toys out

This step is from Marie Kondo’s method. Get all the toys out, from everywhere and put them in one place.

I literally went mad when I saw the huge pile we had. It was crazy how much we had accumulated.

I did not realize we had so many till we gathered it from all rooms,even the kitchen and bathroom.

#2 Throw Broken Toys

I had a throwaway and Giveaway bag. We threw away so many toys. Toys which were broken, toys which were not open ended, some toys which I hated, some toys kids hated ( why did we keep them then?).

We had bags of toys out everyday. Finally one day my neighbor said,my daughter said I should leanr from you how to get rid of things.

I didn’t know if that was a compliment or …

#3 Give Away Toys

All toys which annoyed us, toys which were frustrating the child, were given away. We made sure they worked and were usable.

There were two toys of one kid,some toys which had batteries, some toys which were a little sharp.

#4 Keep Toys

I kept toys which fulfilled the following criteria

  • Child likes them
  • inspires imaginative play
  • Easy to Clean
  • Make storing them easy

Only Toys You Need

We need to constantly keep clutter at check in my house. I think it is a habitual thing with me and my son,to keep our creations, to keep every new activity and toy we get.

While I have personally asked my family and friends to gift us Love and not items, we still end up getting lots of toys.

To avoid this, I tell my parents in advance what to gift my son for his birthday. Sometimes, it is a book series he is into that year, sometimes it is money, sometimes craft supplies.

In this way even though we get new things, everything has a purpose.

Here are some toys which can be kept

  • Open-Ended Toys (blocks, lego, dolls, stuffed toys)
  • Role Play ( Cloth pieces, ropes)
  • Board Games
  • Characters – Animals, action figures
  • Batand ball
  • Art materials ( paint, paper, cardboard box, play dough, ice cream sticks, coloured pencils, crayons)
  • scarves
  • Skates, Cycle
  • vehicles
  • books
  • sensory toys ( pebbles, twigs, dry beans, shells)

Related Questions

Here are some other questions you might have about toys. I did and here is what I did about them.

How to Get Rid of Old Toys

How do we get rid of old toys? This really tough but this is how I do it.

  • I throw toys which are not usable
  • I donate toys which are ind in good condition
  • Books I have donated to the library, school, friends
  • When we get new toys, we try to let go of old ones, to keep the balance going
  • I try to get activities, which we can work on and discard
  • WE do not keep paintings, coloring’s etc. They might be kept for a day or two and then are discarded
  • Old picture books are cut and used in school projects

Where do you Give old Toys?

This is what I do with old toys, which are in good condition and can be used.

  • Give them to families who need them
  • Donate them to workers in our society
  • Give them at the school when they have drives to collect toys for the poor

How To Organize Toys

Organizing Toys was very difficult for us intially. The most annoying toys to organise are the legos.

For our family, I needed a way to organise them so that I could help clean up. Since I cannot bend or squat much, it had to be above the ground. It should also be acceible tomy son who is still tiny.

So I re purposed a plastic drawer to keep the small toys together. This made clean up easier, and also easier to find and play with.

I also re-purposed a large plastic basket which I was using in the kitchen for dishes. This basket goes under the bed, so toys which really cannot be organised or if we are in a hurry that day, we add toys to this basket.

Board games are kept inside a storage unit we have. Some board games are kept out on a shelf in my son’s room.

I kept only 3 stuffed toys out, the rest are in the storage unit. I willdownsize these soon. At present myson refuses to reduce.

I have kept only one ball which can be used as a football and is good for bouncing as well.

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