5 Quick Tips for Decluttering Toys Before Christmas

Decluttering toys before Christmas can feel like a daunting task, but these simple tips make it easy to organize the playroom before the holidays arrive!

5 Quick Tips for Decluttering Toys Before Christmas

I can hardly believe that Christmas will be here in less than a week! One of the major things on my to-do list before the big day arrives was to go through my boys’ toys and clear out anything they no longer use.

Part of me is convinced that items in the playroom secretly multiply overnight when we’re sleeping because I have no idea where all of the “stuff” comes from! 😉 Even with my best efforts at keeping new additions to a minimum, our playroom had still come to look like this:

Messy Playroom before Decluttering Process

Eek. Now granted, this photo was taken as I had just begun to remove things from the shelves to declutter (because I forgot to take a true “before”– oops!), but all of those piles of clutter on the floor were just piles of clutter on the shelves, so it wasn’t all that different!

I definitely wanted to get rid of the clutter in this space before Christmas rolled around and we began adding more items to this already overloaded room. I put off the decluttering process for way too long, but it actually ended up being easier than I thought thanks to a few simple strategies.

5 Quick Tips for Decluttering Toys Before Christmas

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

1. I framed the decluttering project in a positive way to my kids.

Instead of telling the boys, “Hey, we need to get rid of a bunch of your toys,” I prepped them in advance that we were going to “make room for all of the new toys you’re going to get at Christmas!”

They are, of course, excited about acquiring some new fun things, so making space for these precious possessions didn’t seem like much of a chore. Their attitudes were much better going into the process, which made it a lot easier for mom as well!

These sweet angels would never complain about decluttering, would they?! 😉 Photo by the oh-so-talented Jenny B. Photography.

2. I did the first pass through the playroom by myself.

Anytime I declutter toys, I typically like to go through the playroom while the boys are at school first. This allows me to get rid of any true junk or trash (broken toys, wrinkled up papers, instruction books they no longer need, etc.). I also create a pile of “suggested subtractions,” things I know that they have probably outgrown or no longer have interest in.

Going through the playroom by myself allows me to make progress without protests from the kiddos, and it also lets me “pre-organize” the space so when it comes time to get their input, the process is faster for them and their short attention spans. 🙂

Ultimately, the final decision on what to keep and what to get rid of lies with the boys, but I’ve found that separating out the lesser used items beforehand makes them more willing to part with stuff.

3. I eliminated paper clutter.

I love having a space to display the boys’ artwork in their playroom, but it was getting totally out of control. Not only did it make the space look cluttered…

Messy Craft Area Before Decluttering the Playroom

…but I found that we were hesitant to display new projects that they were bringing home because we didn’t really have anywhere to put them. I decided to take all of the artwork down and start with a completely blank slate so that the room felt less cluttered and so we had all the space we needed for new creations.

Craft Area for Kids with Room to Display Projects on the Wall Using IKEA DIGNITET Wires

Desk | Chairs | Rolling Cart | Display Wires | Magazine Rack

(Some of the artwork headed for the trash/recycling while “special” pieces went into file boxes that I have for each boy, separated by grade. You can see how I deal with all of the boys’ school paperwork in this post.)

4. I re-worked the layout of the space.

As kids get older and their interests and toy preferences change, systems and room arrangements that used to work perfectly need to be changed and tweaked too.

For example, Caleb started taking piano lessons earlier this year, so we added a keyboard to this room…

Keyboard and Wall Map in Organized Playroom

To make room, we moved the LEGO towers over near the window, which I knew wasn’t the best option, but it was the quickest way to free up some space.

Messy Playroom before Decluttering Process

You can spot the LEGO towers on either side of the window, which crowded that corner of the room.

Since we were getting rid of some things, we were able to free up enough space to move the LEGO towers to a different wall where they were a better fit, which opened up the room and made it feel more spacious. (You can learn my favorite LEGO organization strategies in this post.)

Organized Playroom with Storage for LEGO Bricks and Big Toys

LEGO Towers | Shelving Unit

With all of the clutter in the room before, this solution wasn’t obvious to me, but once we cut it out, it was easier to see how we could improve the layout of the room.

5. I put everything back in a way that was easily accessible to the kids.

I always find that the boys spend a lot more time in the playroom after we’ve decluttered because they’re able to more easily access their toys!

Organized Toys in an IKEA KALLAX Cube Storage Unit

Cube Unit | Fabric Storage Bins | Adhesive Bookplate Labels

Their smaller toys are separated by type into bins. Caleb’s (age 7) books are on lower shelves that he can reach and Connor’s (almost 10) are up higher, though still in a spot where he can grab them easily. Board games are all together and aren’t so crammed into the shelf that they’re hard to get in and out, etc.

It feels so great to have this space decluttered before the holiday. We’ve left some wiggle room for a few new additions that will be coming, but we also were sure not to go completely overboard with gifts so that the space doesn’t get cluttered right back up again. The boys really do spend more time in their space when it is clutter free, and I love being able to watch them enjoy their favorite items more easily!

Looking for more toy organization ideas? These posts may be helpful:

Free Printable Toy Decluttering Calendar

How to Declutter Kids’ Toys and an Organized Playroom Tour

LEGO Organization Strategies to Help Save Your Sanity

Our Townhouse Playroom Area

How to Maximize Space in a Shared Kids’ Room

[Psssttt… You can find ideas for organizing every single room of the house in this post!]

Do you have any favorite tips or tricks for decluttering toys before Christmas? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


  1. I don’t know what it is lately I have been totally in the decluttering mood this month. Maybe because we had to buy a new water heater and we had water in our basement. My kids are now moving into teenage era so getting rid of toys, DVDs, games they don’t use anymore feels really good.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      This time of year gets me in the decluttering mood too! It feels so good to get it all out of the house! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Where did you get that keyboard? That’s the perfect size for what I’m looking for?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Melissa! We actually bought this one from a friend. I’m not sure where they got it. Sorry about that!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Kristine Puzel says:

    This looks great Abby ! I think one of the strongest points of your playroom is that everything has a home, and that makes it easy for the boys to put things away! My best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas. I have enjoyed your blog for some many, and very much look forward to 2019 with you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Kristine! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas together! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

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