Toy Wrangling

As we approach 2 years old, Mazen’s toys are getting out of control. I have had the mentality of “the more the better” in his toy baskets thinking that variety would keep him interested, but of course the opposite seems to be true. There is so much clutter that he just ignores most things.


We have multiple toy (and book) stations throughout the house:

-Living room toys (his main set)

-Bedroom books (overflowing in a box and a bin)

-Bedroom small toys (in another bin)

-Outdoor toys on porch

-Big toys downstairs under stairs

-Small downstairs toy basket

-Chest full of misc toys, puzzles, legos, etc.

-Train table toys

Of all of these, he probably only plays with about 10% of them on a regular basis.


So I took over on a big toy sorting project and weeded out the ones he never really liked that much. His reading nook is now a reading nook again!


I put all baby toys (rattles, plush animals, etc) in a bag in our attic for a future baby and donated a few randoms that were hand-me-downs that he never found that interesting. He’s also not really into stuffed animals, so I donated a few of those too (like the freebies that come with books and things). Some of his least favorite books were put back on the big shelf to be read at a later date. Maybe he’ll like those more when he’s older.


Now his toy baskets have space to breathe and he can find his favorites faster. I’m making a point to rotate toys in and out so they keep their coolness. So far so good! Mission accomplished.


Tell me your toy tips!!

19 thoughts on “Toy Wrangling”

  1. I do/have done many of the same things! I also like to fill a small reusable Whole Foods shopping bag with random toys I find laying around (especially those with multiple pieces, like nesting balls or cups) and stick it in his closet. Then, on a day when nothing else is exciting, I pull the bag back out again and he always has renewed interest in the toys : )

    We were a “no stuffed animal” house, but now since hitting about 18 months he has a few favorites that stay in his bedroom. I will try to keep it under 5 stuffed animals per child I think. He had just two he loved and would bring to bed–then reclaimed a third I found from when he was a baby that I thought I’d give to my new baby, but he remembered it. And he’s getting a stuffed Elmo “from” his new brother, when he arrives. So we are getting close to max capacity! I wish that people didn’t love to give them as gifts. We’d rather have books!

  2. Sometimes moving the location of toys can make them seem new and interesting–like switching some living room toys with his bedroom toys. You may have also found that anything can qualify as a toy! My daughter can go days when she’s just interested in carrying around a bunch of socks and diapers in a box. Cool with me!

    1. Your comment made me realize that I do the same thing with my “toys” – my furniture! I love to reorganize and rearrange 🙂 Makes sense a baby would too!

  3. That reading nook is so cute. I used to have one with a tiny rocking chair when I was little and thought I was so cool, rocking and reading. Also HOW have you prevented Mazen from pulling down all those jars yet?

        1. Oh sorry, I see now that you’re talking about those green jars. I thought you meant our kitchen jars, which are long gone. These green ones are hidden behind glass doors. These are our extra big boy books that get rotated in. Not the primary book shelf.

  4. I read in a book that the less toys the better. Have only a handful of toys out and keep rotating them with the rest of the toys to keep it interesting. And put some toys which are never played with away. If the kid doesnt ask for them in some time then give them away. Also, the less toys they have, the more they use imagination to play with them. Ofcourse, in todays time it is very difficult to have less toys 🙂 They just keep multiplying on their own it seems.

  5. Toys were making me crazy especially the light-up, noise making ones. Also my daughter seemed more interested in the box the toy came in, rather than the toy. I’m now a firm believer in less toys, more imagination. But we have plenty of books!

  6. We’ve had the same problem. We have twin boys that were born a week before Mazen and they’re too young to understand the concept of sharing, which means we’ve been buying two of almost everything (except for the big, pricey stuff, of course) in order to keep some peace in our house. I know it’s kind of giving in, but you do what you gotta do to keep your sanity!

    We do a lot of rotating toys from storage in our basement to they’re playroom and we’ve been shocked by the things that they were never interested when we first bought them, but now love playing with. I’m talking toys that I considered junk and had been tempted to just throw away. Good luck and keep sharing any tricks you learn along the way! It’s always a struggle for me to keep two little ones entertained without turning on the tv :-\

  7. We have a two bedroom condo and I am trying to keep the toys organized. We have a basket and box in the living room, a table and tiny kitchen in the dining room, and a ball pit in her bedroom. However, I could probably get rid of 90% of it because she doesn’t really like toys. Crayons yes, toys not so much. Looking forward to getting a house so we can spread her things out.

  8. Good ideas! Less is more!!!!
    Before every birthday and Christmas, each kid has to make a bag of toys we give to less fortunate kids. That way others can have a better holiday, it keeps me to purging twice a year per kid, and makes room for new stuff my kids are getting around those holidays.
    My friends and I also switch today for a few months at a time. We’ll each fill up a Whole Foods bag and switch for 2 months or so and then return!

  9. Hi
    I’ve done many of the same things putting toys away and bring out months later really works. Also we try to store toys from bday/Christmas and bring out thought the year. It kind of makes them more special and exciting bc our daughter kind of forgets that she had gotten them.

    On an unrelated note, where did you get that mirror above the table with the toy bins? I love it.

  10. Great ideas! I just finished reading “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne and he talks about how to decrease clutter in your kids’ rooms and lives, including some of the ways you used.

    Love that reading nook!

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