Mid November. It’s getting chilly. Christmas is lurking. Catalogs are arriving daily. Kids are making lists. While you may not be looking for a project November is the PERFECT time for a toy purge. Why go through all the toys now when I’m just going to do it again after Christmas? There are a few reasons.
How much do your kids have?
First, sorting through all your children’s toys with them present, will remind everyone of just HOW MUCH you’ve got and how little really needs to be added to those lists. It’s November! Time to be grateful for what we’ve got.
What do your kids have?
Second, sorting through toys now will remind you of WHAT you’ve got. Take my 5-year-old, for example. The Target catalog came in the mail a few days ago, and she’s got half of it circled already. But guess what? Half of what she circled, she already has. Kids don’t really consider the items they have when they ask for more, they just think about what they like to play with. Frozen dolls? She has them, but they’re circled. Tea Party set? She has two, but there’s another one circled. Play kitchen? Same.
Side note: I sound like a hypocrite telling followers to do a toy purge while saying my child has 2 tea sets, BUT she is the lucky recipient of her big sister’s hand-me-downs. Plus, she plays with one tea set in the bathtub and one out, so we made an exception. Make your own rules based on your kids and your tolerance for stuff.
What do your kids love?
Third, pay attention to what your kids love. Use their interests to guide new purchases. What’s something they might like that’s related to, but different from, what they’ve already got? Be intentional when shopping or when providing gift suggestions to relatives.
Your child might love Hot Wheels tracks, but if there are already 2 in the corner, you can probably avoid the Hot Wheels aisle of Target this year. Instead, take the fascination with cars and physics and speed and find other toys that relate to these interests you don’t already have. Maybe a robotics kit, a remote-control car, or a marble run would be fun?
What can go?
Fourth, doing a major toy purge in November is a great way to practice letting go of items that are no longer played with and make room for the incoming flux. While I don’t always recommend doing a toy purge with children present, right before Christmas is a different story because of the Santa factor: “Sorry guys, this playroom is full, there’s no room for anything else. You can keep all your toys, that’s totally fine, but Santa won’t be able to bring any extras this year.” It might not be the best parenting move out there, but it is effective, I promise.
What to do with all those purged toys? There are a few options. You may also find a local toy drive that accepts used toys, although most don’t. Personally, we leave toys under our tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to take after he’s done delivering gifts at our house.
Toy Purge Thoughts
I’m definitely not encouraging you to let go of toys your children still love just to make room for more toys, but I am saying it’s a great time to let go of broken, annoying, or outgrown items. I have strict criteria for what stays and what goes—you probably want to set some criteria for your family. And if you need a little extra motivation, research shows that kids who have fewer toys are actually happier and more focused than kids who have a lot. You’re welcome 😉.
Christmas can overwhelm. Taking inventory of what your children already have in November allows you to shop with intention. It allows you to buy less. It reminds your children to be grateful for what they have while the rest of the country is thinking about what they want. Doing a toy purge also makes room for new junk that you can get rid of next year (hurts, right?).
So add a toy purge to your to do list in the next few weeks and let me know how it goes!
**Disclosure: This post contains links. Some are affiliate, some are not. If you make a purchase through the links, I may earn a small commission. I link these companies and products for informational purposes or because of their quality and not because of the commission I may or may not receive.**