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Every parent dreads the toy monster. Between birthdays, holidays and being spoiled by grandma, there’s no doubt that kids can accumulate a lot of toys. And every parent knows that too many toys can lead to clutter. These tips can help parents and children alike manage toys without a tearful struggle.

Limit Incoming Toys When Possible
Toys make great gifts for kids, but they’re not the only option. If you have relatives and family friends who are open to changing their gift-giving habits, it can be helpful to ask for books, clothing items or activity-based gifts instead of a toy. After all, it’s far easier to keep tears at bay if you don’t have to continually declutter your children’s toy collection.

Get Kids Involved in Decluttering
If your children are old enough, get them involved in the decluttering process. Giving your children autonomy when decluttering will allow them to feel accomplished once finished,  giving them the incentive to do it again. Getting kids involved gives them the ability to choose what happens rather than seeing decluttering as a process that happens to them.

Declutter In Reverse
Asking your child what they “don’t like” and want to donate can make them feel overwhelmed. After all, your child probably likes everything. However, they surely have a few favorites. Give children a container to fill with their favorite items; anything that doesn’t fit is donated. This creates a definitive structure to the decluttering process, favorite items are put away first, then well-liked items, then a few semi-enjoyed items as room allows.

Rotate, Don’t Just Donate
You don’t always have to rely on donating toys to mitigate toy messes. At times like birthdays or holidays, an influx of new toys may cause clutter simply because too many are present and available at once. Set aside half of your child’s toys and rotate them out every few months. They will feel like new and your child will enjoy the added space, and easier clean up, with partial access to all the toys they own.

Every child needs space to play, and too many toys can hinder their fun. With these simple tips, you can watch your children enjoy their toys like never before.