How do you clear out your children’s old toys?

toys, old toys, dad blogger, daddy blogger

I see this pile of toys and I want to show no mercy and get rid of them. What would you do? Pic credit below.


I have a question: how do you go about clearing your children’s old toys out of the family home? Do you sit down and go through the collection one by one, collectively deciding what should be passed on to someone else, or do you do it on the sly and remove items when your kids aren’t looking?

Perhaps this is a very naïve thing so say, but I imagine that question doesn’t really apply to older children. I like to think that once a youngster’s age hits the high single figures they’re old enough to appreciate that they can’t keep all their toys (I’m right, yeah? Please tell me this gets easier).

My six year old doesn’t like to part with anything. When it comes to her ever-growing collection of cuddly toys, I have come to appreciate her point of view. There was an incident recently that revealed to me just how attached she is to these toys. Perhaps I’m just a big softy, but I consider them off limits and am happy to keep them, even though their population is growing at a staggering rate.

When it comes to other toys, I’m afraid I go for the sly approach and sneak stuff out of the house when I think I can get away with it. They can go to a number of different sources but I always try and hand things over to a toy bank.

If a toy has sat around untouched for three or so months, it is fair game in my eyes. Sometimes we keep hold of toys for Toddler Adams but as soon as she has outgrown them, well, it’s goodbye. In fact I try, but usually fail, to adhere to a ‘one toy in, one toy out’ policy.

I have tried sitting down and negotiating with Helen about her toy collection. It just doesn’t work. She simply wants to keep everything. If I slyly remove toys from the house, she never asks after them. I feel a bit bad doing things this way, but at least it works and stops us hoarding.

That’s how I keep this family’s toy collection under control. how do you do it? Are you a negotiator or are you brutal and show no mercy? Please leave a comment, I’d be interested to know.

Pic credit; Romana Klee. Sourced from and reproduced under Creative Commons agreement

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  1. August 25, 2015 / 3:56 am

    Hi John.

    My first here.

    I dont have kids yet.

    But my idea is, give them planned option.

    For example. you can only 3 toys on this wardrobe, instead of 5 you have.

    or, this toys. kids no longer play it. even the cartoon movie already end years ago.

    or, teach them to develop kindness by donate those not fit toys at option 1 to orphanage home.

    or, I need few days to think more.

    • John Adams
      August 26, 2015 / 6:52 am

      Thanks for visiting. I have tried the whole negotiating thing. sometimes it works, often it leads to arguments! When things are quietly removed the little ones don’t seem to even notice. Do visit again and thanks for commenting.

  2. August 26, 2015 / 8:47 am

    My twin boys are only now turning two and my house is already overflowing with toys. At the moment i’m still following the sneaky sneaky approach, and hoping once they are old enough to either bargain with or negotiate a deal, that we can do it in a win-win way.

  3. August 26, 2015 / 9:20 am

    I’d probably go for the sneaky option. But in the flip side of that, I clearly remember outgrowing my toys and handing them down to my sister 🙂 #MMWBH

  4. August 26, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    I like to think that we give them the choice to put the stuff away into a bag or something, and take it to a charity shop…
    That was my dream anyhow, but sadly my kids tend to find the box or the bags before it makes its way there and suddenly the toys are too interesting again to throw away..
    I really do need to get on with it though because they have waaay too many now and some that they really have grown out of age wise. 🙂


  5. August 27, 2015 / 12:56 am

    That’s always a tough one trying to get them to let go, I have told my 5 year old that we have to get ride of some toys that he does not play with much that way other kids who dont have toys we can donate them to those kids. This strategy so far has seemed to work, I usually try to do this right before a birthday or holiday to clear out old toys. Thanks for sharing #wineandboobs

  6. July 24, 2018 / 11:07 am

    We resort to Covert Ops and whisk away toys in the dead of night without telling the girls – thankfully we have a new cousin on the scene which is proving a positive outlet for some our unneeded toys!

    • John Adams
      July 28, 2018 / 6:26 am

      Covert Ops are the only way but you have to be quick, very quick. Remove them from the bedroom and place them in the garage with the intention of disposing of them at a later date…well they just end up being rediscovered and coming back into the house!