Do You Rotate Toys?

Updated on August 27, 2013
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
14 answers

I have tried to do this but have never succeeded. Either my kids find the stash and drag it back out, or I just never get around to switching it up. If you are successful at rotating toys, whats your secret?

(My purpose is to lessen the clutter around that house as we have more toys than places to put toys. thx)

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answers from Phoenix on

I don't. Kids go through phases where they will play with the same thing for days/weeks on end, then suddenly it's on to something else with no warning. I never want to stifle that creativity or interest by limiting what is available to play with. I just organize everything in cube shelving and fabric drawers and let them play.

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answers from Columbia on

I didn't rotate. That's too much work for me!!!!! :-)

I did get rid of stuff that she wasn't playing with. I also made sure we had a good organization system and that I built it "put away time" as part of "playtime" - so that if there was 45 minutes of "time" available.... we used 30 minutes to play then ding!!!! timer went off and we used 15 minutes to pick up. That made a world of difference in how cluttered the house was!

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answers from Columbia on

I did. I put them in the basement underneath several other heavy boxes. And I also made it clear that the basement storage space was off limits.

Now that they're older, I don't. I just donate what's not being played with. And I'm more careful about what I do buy.

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answers from Albuquerque on

Totally. I package up whole categories of toys and put them in the barn (garage would work too if you have one). They're in grey bins so no one notices the toys while walking by. Every 4-5 months or so I rotate things back in. It's basically like doubling your toys because everything is new and exciting every four months!

Besides, it's a great way to determine if something is really worth saving or if your kids have outgrown it. If they don't care about the toy again in four months, it can be donated.

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answers from Honolulu on

To reduce clutter of toys in the house, just get rid of some. Those that are outgrown or unused.
Because, "rotating" it, just retains the same amount, but it is elsewhere.
Same stuff just different places and taking up space in other places.

I don't rotate.
But we do get rid of toys/stuff, throughout the year. Periodically.
My son however, is good about "rotating" toys himself. Meaning, he has always played with his toys, and knows where it is, and will get back to many of them and play with them, still. Versus my daughter, once she's outgrown something then that's it. She's done. And then we get rid of it or often times will then give it to another family with younger kids.

But anyway, the only way to reduce clutter is simply to get rid of stuff.
Kid stuff and, adult stuff.
For example, if I tell my kids they have too many clothes, and it is no longer worn or outgrown, we get rid of it. Same for us as parents, WE have to do that, too. Not just my kids.
OR you organize it better, and then get rid of stuff that is just piling up for no reason.

I also don't rotate because, my kids have their own ideas of what they want to play with/use/have around... that is per frequency of use. And they will get it, they know where it is. There are certain places for certain things, in the house. My kids have THEIR own ideas, of what to play with or use. Thus, I don't rotate. There is no need to.

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answers from Orlando on

I do. My kids ask for rotation about every 3 months. I have about 5 rubbermaid tubs organized by category that stay in the garage. When they want "new" toys I get out 1 or 2 boxes and let them make trades. We always have the mini kitchen, train table, books, and legos out. The rest rotate. I purge and garage sale or donate the month before birthdays and Christmas. I let my kids pick what they want to purge 1st then I go through again on my own. Roughly 1x/mo I sort the toys that are out and throw away any broken ones, fast food trinkets, and trash. Now that my kids are both in school (K and PreK4) there is less at home play time and I am thinking of decreasing my toy stash by a box or 2. I love the newness of rotated toys on rainy days. :)

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answers from Portland on

I wouldn't be alive if I didn't rotate toys. Seriously-- I'd be found at the bottom of a jumble. Our house is small. I used to teach preschool and had quite a collection at one time. After 20 years of teaching preschool and teaching families how to do this when I was a nanny, I'm just in the habit, I guess.

That said, my son was NEVER allowed to get into the 'put away' stuff on his own. If he was down in the basement and saw something he wanted, he was offered to 'trade' for that toy--something else goes into storage.

It works well for me to do a big room cleanup once every month or so and to really see what's being taken out and used (say legos) and what gets taken out and played with for a few minutes, but forgotten. The 'forgotten' stuff gets boxed up, labeled and stored. I also have several toy sets, like the marble run, which can be out in the living room when played with for a few days but then the entire box is put away.

And lastly, I do a LOT of purging, via Freecycle or donations or garage sales. Kiddo has had two garage sales of just toys this year and did pretty well... he sold all of his old dinos for about a dollar each for the big ones; I also sold a bunch of my old preschool stuff that we didn't need any more. There comes a time when the little kitchen or Tonka trucks don't get used so much, and then we let them go. I only save the handmade-especially-for-him items. If your kids are older, that's a great way to go-- let them have a garage sale and put the money toward an item they want. My son does this (as well as jobs around the house)-- he has less toys than he did a year or so ago but has more to 'play', if you know what I mean!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't really rotate, but I go through periods where I move toys out of the living room and back to their rooms.

I periodically take about 80% of the toys to their rooms. And as someone else said, I take whole categories. So all the racecars and racetracks in one box and into the closet in their room. All the Thomas trains/tracks into a box and into their closet.

Yes, the kids sometimes go and dig out something I've put away. So over a few months, most of what has been put away is back out. I'm ok with that. If I pack away a few categories of stuff four times per year, it still keeps the clutter down for at least a month or two at a time.

I don't really believe in strict rotating, where stuff is put away and kids aren't allowed to get it out. After all, those toys were bought for them to play with, not to sit in my attic.



answers from Philadelphia on

Yes, I did. I have 2 wicker chest in my family room. Every night everything was put away. If it didnt fit in the family room, it would go down the basement to the storage area.



answers from Chicago on

They always go in search for the missing toys.

I got rid of almost half of their toys last year. It's so much nicer.

Just declutter. Things they rarely play with? Donate.



answers from Washington DC on

Absolutely! Right after xmas, a bday or just when I notice too much clutter - I find an empty box and start chucking things in there. Put the box in the basement and then let them have one or two of the new presents.

Xmas and Bday toys go to our spare room, and they generally get a new toy every 2 or 3 weeks. A couple months if I forget.

Recycled toys get brought back up about every 4-6 months - when they are getting too antsy and don't want to do our usual routine.

I don't remember in any fashion, it just pops in my head. But if you are more anal, mark it down on your kitchen calendar or your phone calendar.



answers from Oklahoma City on

You put the switch date on the calendar. You put the other toys in your closet and keep your bedroom door closed so they can't get in there to it.

When you get a reminder to switch toys you go get the next box in line, dump it out on the bed, put all the toys in the box you just emptied, then go put it back where they can't find it. Then you go and put the toys up. I do leave some toys out all the time. Blocks, Lego's, Barbie's, other stuff like this that will be played with nearly every day.



answers from Pittsburgh on

It was always my intention to do so but it never worked out that way :-( Instead I have totes of toys stacked from floor to ceiling wondering 'when can I get rid of these??'



answers from Detroit on

All I do is pick up toys.

(In all honesty I tried rotating them, and it's tough. The big toys work best for that).

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