Ways to reduce the post-holiday toy clutter

Pley toy rental

This post is sponsored by Pley

A few days after the kids returned to school from their winter break, I packed up our holiday decor and got to work on ridding our living room of all the holiday mess.  This is always the worst part of the post-holiday season; the loneliness and the mess is such a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of last month.  It's just now dawning on me that I have to find new storage/hiding spaces for all of the new stuff my kids received over the holidays!!

I thought this year would be different, because we bought the boys an early Christmas present -- new bikes -- so they knew they wouldn't be opening big, bright presents on Christmas morning. At least, that was the plan. With the grandparents visiting, and all the stocking stuffers I capitulated on, plus the small presents that didn't cost much, but took up a lot of space, they ended up with tons of stuff anyway.  In addition, they were born on December 30, so they received birthday presents as well!

Our family of five lives in a 1700 square foot house. It's not exactly urban density housing, but it's certainly small enough that even a small mess makes a big impact, so reducing clutter and keeping stuff organized is really important. Here are five things we are doing to manage our ever-growing stash of toys:

  1. Dismantle some LEGO models that having been clogging up the top of their dresser.
  2. Clean up their storage space (last weekend we went through their old art supplies drawers and freed up a ton of space by throwing away old coloring books, markers, and crayons).
  3. Borrow more books from the library instead of buying them.
  4. If they want new toys, they have to get rid of some old ones (by donating or throwing away).
  5. If relatives ask them what they want for their birthdays, consider asking for the gift of "experiences" -- movie tickets, a cooking class -- or money towards their college savings account.

Strategy number 6 is something we haven't yet done, but looks like it might be a good option: Pley. Pley is a toy rental service that lets members receive unlimited toys (one at a time) delivered directly to their door. Pley gives subscribers access to a large selection of educative toys, including 400+ LEGO sets and popular robotics toys. Pley packages get delivered to your door and when the kids are done playing, they can return them for a new toy. Plans start as low as $19.99/month and all plans include free delivery and unlimited rentals.
Pley toy rental

Key benefits of Pley include:

  • Kids always have access to the latest and greatest toys. 
  • Due to the variety, kids don't lose interest in the toys.
  • Costs less than buying toys. Average savings for members is about $800 per year.
  • Less clutter: you don't need to store as many toys, only the toys that the kids are currently obsessed with. No more toys sitting unused on shelves!
  • Kids learn the concepts of sharing and reducing waste.

One big reason holding me back is that my boys are tweens (age 12), and the toy selection (other than LEGO and robotics) may not be as wide for boys this age... but I've heard that Pley is expanding their toy range to include more robotics toys like drones!

Pley toy rental

Did the amount of toys your children received over the holidays overwhelm you? What will you do about it in the new year?

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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