Wednesday, February 19, 2014

our minimal toy closet

Our toy closet (located in the boys' room) has changed quite a bit over the past 8 years that we've lived in this house. As my children have grown, and their interests have changed, so have the contents of the closet.

Right now, we are down to these basics: legos, dolls and army guys, trains, cars, animal figurines, potato heads, little people, lincoln logs, wood blocks, and weapons. Each toy type is contained in a bin or basket. We also have a trunk full of stuffed animals (unfortunately). In our first minimalism sweep, I donated or trashed anything that was broken, or that they hadn't played with during the past year (like the box of baby toys I didn't think I could part with), and anything that prevented the lid of the bin from closing. Next time, I think I will try to reduce the amount in each bin by half. I'm pretty sure we don't really need a million plastic animal figurines, even if they all fit in the box.

To help keep our toy situation under control, we only purchase toys for Christmas and birthdays. We don't even step foot in the toy department at Target. Actually, since we've started on this minimalism kick, and for the past year or so, I've rarely stepped foot in Target at all. And you know what? I don't miss it. The whole idea behind this is to be content with the things you have, and then to be really deliberate about the things you buy. I don't think I've ever made a deliberate purchase at Target in my life.

I need to be better at this, but I've found that when I take the time to set up a toy (like the train set or the little people town), then my kids will happily play with that one toy for a day or two. Then we'll put it away and get something else out.


  1. I think this is an excellent idea but not one that I can totally practice. I'm too emotionally connected to my daughter's baby toys, for instance, and favorite books (I have my own favorite books still that I've hung onto for 49 years and have shared with my daughter when she was little and plan to pass along/share with my grandchildren someday). So, while I part with some things, I have bins filled with her old favorite toys in the garage attic and even favorite clothing items from childhood that I plan to give to her when she's married and with her own children so that the items can be used again. As for my own childhood toys, some of those, I regret throwing away and so that's why I have a Suzy doll replacement that my husband bought me when I was in my 30s - because I spent years trying to find the exact doll to replace the one I had gotten rid of years ago.

  2. Linda, I have a box of "treasures" in my closet for each kid. I am sentimental and they contain drawings and school photos. Eventually each child will have a trunk to put them in, along with special clothes and toys and blankets I hold on to.

    Stephanie, we did sweep number one and loaded the shop up with our garage sale things! The play room, while no where as minimal as yours, feels so much easier to clean. Basically we got rid of broken stuff and stuff that I is a pain to play with. The kids got all excited about the box of baby clothes and picked one baby and one outfit each (even jake). They never play with that stuff.And the stuffed animal purge resulted in more stuffed animals in their rooms and less in the stuffed animal tote. They are really exited to earn money selling their stuff! I think I might gradually buy myself nicer hangers for my reduced closet- i go through it several times a year, but never like I did this time! I am sure we will do one more huge sweep and attack the shop before the garage sale! It is very cleansing!

  3. I just did a major deep cleaning in my kid's room. Together we got rid of everything we didn't use. Gave a bunch away, threw a bunch out, rearranged spaces, put seasonal items away and all in all our lives are lighter and happier :)


Hello! Thank you for your comment. I'd love to respond, and it is much easier if your account is linked to your email address. Or, you could just email me at Thank you!