Reader Question: How do we put a stop to the overwhelming amount of toys that enter our house for birthdays, Christmas (& everything in between!)?

Question:  I’m a mom of 4 and we are far from minimalists, though it would be a dream to make a move in that direction.  We have a ton of family, and they all love to lavish my children with gifts: Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving they find any reason to buy my kids MORE.  I’ve politely asked them not to, I’ve moaned and groaned behind their backs and even tossed and donated much of it.  But I feel guilty, because family comes over a lot and my children tell on me, and family notices some how in our sea of toys that their most recent gift cannot be located.  How can I put a stop to this?  I need a creative idea here.


I totally get it. We have four kids age 7 and under and they are the only kids on my side. Their grandparents and aunts and uncles LOVE to spoil them and seem to bring them something almost every time we see them.

Something from the Dollar Store, another thing from a garage sale, this thing they couldn’t pass up at Target, a souvenir from the trip they took and oh look! We just found this when we were cleaning the basement! ;)

It is overwhelming for my husband and I at times, but it can be overwhelming to the kids, too.


Simplifying Toys: The time (& sanity) saving trick for sorting all of your kids’ toys in an hour

We all know we should purge our kids' toys--but it is ALOT of work! Here is a trick to get it all done in an hour!

Look familiar? (To me the funniest part is my husband’s dirty clothes on the right mixed in with everything else!)

For me, one of the most daunting minimizing tasks was simplifying and purging the kids toys. With four kids it felt like there were toys everywhere…we tried to keep them contained to the family room, but inevitably they would get drug into the kitchen, and my office and into their bedrooms…and we moms only have so much energy to correct our kids in a day, so that rule was often neglected.

But when I finally decided enough was enough, I came up with a battle plan: I was going to decide which type of toys we were keeping and EVERYTHING else went.

Simplifying Toys: Which ones made the cut

Children’s toys can be one of the most daunting areas of simplifying life.

Our kids love each and every one (just ask them!), we’ve invested good money into them, and almost certainly, as soon as we get rid of any they ask where it is and break down because it was their favorite.


But…it has to be done, because we all know that they don’t actually need as many toys as they have and the clutter is causing stress in our homes.

The Best Toy Storage & Organization

I’ve been on the hunt for quite awhile to find a sleek and affordable solution for storing toys in our basement family room. I wanted something that looked a little sophisticated since it would be in plain view. It also needed to have large bins, be easy for the kids to use and not break the bank…

The best, most affordable and durable toy storage

The best, most affordable and durable toy storage

We often joke that everything in our house is from Craig’s List or Ikea, so no surprise that we found these really great black shelves and bins at Ikea. Each section with bins was $39, so total we invested around $120 for the three sections we have.

The best, most affordable and durable toy storage

I really appreciate how easily the bins slide in and out and how STURDY the whole thing is, it seems that it should last until we have grandkids :)

The best, most affordable and durable toy storage

In my perfect, organized world, each bin would be neatly sorted with Little People, dolls and trucks, but currently I’m happy if everything just ends up off the floor at the end of the day.

And here is a fun idea from Shanty 2 Chic to make your own shelves for the bins:

The best toy storage!

How cool is that? She even includes plans to build the shelves, find them here at Shanty 2 Chic.

The best, most affordable and durable toy storage

What I also love about these shelves and containers is that the bins are virtually indestructible. Of course, this would NEVER actually happen at our house, it is for demonstration purposes only ;)

And they went together quickly and easily. I was able to put all three together during one nap time while 9 months pregnant…not bad, right? :)

Related Posts:

Simplifying Toys: Which Ones Made the Cut
Simplifying Toys: The Time & Sanity Saving Trick for Sorting ALL of Your Kids’ Toys in an Hour

Have you found practical toy storage solutions that you love? Please share!


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