So your kids got more toys for Christmas and now the house is beginning to look like a giant toy shop? (Mine too!)

Here are some tips to complete a toy cull this holidays:

  1. For every new toy, try and donate a toy (or more).
  2. Go through every toy box and sort out what toys the kids have outgrown – kids outgrow toys very fast as they get older and move onto different crazes and interests.
  3. Donate any toys straight away that haven’t been played with for months.
  4. Get rid of any duplicates, broken or terrible toys (ie freebies at McDonalds) they have acquired.
  5. Reduce the amount of toys by keeping a certain amount – for example, kids don’t need 100 toy cars.
  6. Don’t buy more storage, only keep the amount of toys that fit in the boxes you have.
  7. Don’t get sentimental about who gave the kids the toys, if the kids don’t play with it, get rid of it.
  8. Don’t forget to cull soft toys too, favourites only as they get older.
  9. When the kids are old enough I have found it useful to involve them in the process and let them make decisions about what they don’t play with anymore (you’ll be suprised once they get going how they are willing to donate things they don’t need to make room for new toys).
  10. Rotate the toys you do keep so the kids don’t get bored with them and they get used.
  11. We have donated many many toys at our house and not one toy has ever been missed, but you can put the donations in the shed for a week before you donate in case they ask about a missing toy.

We have talked to our kids about donating toys to kids who don’t have any and they like the idea of sharing.

Do you need to do a toy cull at your house? Any tips to share? Please SHARE your tips below. 

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  • I found that people would overload my kids with soft toys. I would never give kids a gift of soft toys now as they end up with so many.


  • So wish we could convince my 6yr old to give up anything, we have tried and tried so many different tactics, he remembers every single toy he’s ever owned, he’s still heartbroken I won’t replace a ball with a bell in it he had as a baby


  • I like the idea of one in one out. I really need to do that in our home.


  • A great article Jessica. A while back, we lost a lot of toys through a natural disaster, so my kids don’t have a great deal of excess. I’ve boxed up the baby toys in a back cupboard and these are brought out, cleaned and checked before we have visitors with babies. Other toys I have in containers that I swap around every few weeks, so it feels like new toys rather than the ones they have every day. Books too are rotated between an upper shelf and a lower bookcase. Broken toys are disposed of, as too ones with missing parts.


  • Some great tips, thanks.


  • I need to do a toy cull big time, some have been with us for over 10 years, since my first was born. They don’t even play with most of them, yet I haven’t had the heart to donate them or throw out the battered ones. I really need to though as it’s gotten ridiculous. Thanks for this article, just what I needed to read!


  • Some of those freebie toys just seem to multiply. No idea how


  • Don’t they accumulate so easy? After xmas we clear out a lot of the kids toy’s.


  • It is funny this showed up as something I might be interested in as we had just finished having this discussion in our house and is on the agenda to start tomorrow.


  • Keeping the toys in the shed for a week first is a clever idea incase they ask for it! We have too many soft toys in our house that I’m sentimental over because of who gave them… I might need to rethink those:)
    I didn’t buy new baby toys myself and we still ended up with enough.


  • These are all great tips, thanks.


  • We absolutely need a cull. My son is now 14, so the majority of his toys are no longer of use to him. I just know it’s going to be such a chore, such a big job so I need to allocate time to it. It’s definitely on the to do list, but I keep pushing it down!! In the past, we sort into – rubbish/throw out if it’s broken, damaged, missing something; donate to preschool if they can use it; pass onto friends with kids'; donate to charities; sell on eBay or Gumtree if really good and valuable but no longer needed; put away in the back shed for my son’s children. Now to get onto it!


  • Thank you for sharing these tips!
    I have just gone through and had a huge clean out of toys, a large garbage bag of soft toys and two boxes of other toys that are now out grown and no longer played with have gone.
    I also tossed out those annoying maccas toys too.
    Wow, I was so surprised at how much room is now free, and I feel better for it too!


  • yep, this is a familiar sight!!


  • I’m sure these tips would help with all culling of household goods – the one tip you haven’t given me is ‘How do I start’.


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