How to Purge Toys and Clothes (Resolutionize Your Mom Groove)

Seriously. Every woman has to purge her home.

With the holidays behind us and bedrooms full of new toys, it is time to evaluate.

And purge.

I am not, I repeat not, the goddess of organization. I will not pretend to be. But I am on my way to getting my organized life back. One small baby step at a time.

As disorderly as some things may be here at Crystal & Co., we do have an unspoken rule. With five children, Christmas and birthdays bring lots of new stuff to our home. For every big new toy, a big old toy must go. Not a toy your kids still play with every day, of course. But if you do not keep a handle on things, especially when you have a large family, toys and tangible items can take over your life.

Before or after the holidays you need to do a good purge. As your home becomes tidy, your mom groove is replenished!

Purging Toys

1) Make stacks.

  • what to keep
  • what to donate
  • what to pass on to a friend
  • what will go in the yard sale
  • what to trash (if it is completely destroyed)

2) Anything you are donating or giving away, immediately goes into a bag. I use black trash bags. You can use tubs, reuse grocery store bags,  or whatever gets the job done for you.

3) Whatever is being passed on to a friend or donated, needs to leave your home as soon as possible. Minimize the opportunity for potential negotiations from little ones who will plead for hours as to why they need to keep that toy (which they have not played with since they were two). By doing this you will also get the clutter out of your house quickly. (What is the point in purging it all if the clutter is just going to sit in bags or containers another 2 weeks?)

4) The yard sale stack needs to be boxed up quickly and placed in your attic, garage or where ever you are storing it. You do not want any of these items to make it back into your child’ toy rotation. Try to plan your yard sales around your purging schedule if at all possible.

Remember, we are not getting rid of any toys that our children currently use or play with. These are toys they have outgrown or are no longer using and can be put to use by someone else.

Now, while we’re at it, let’s purge clothes as well.

The clothes in that top bin were folded….until I went looking for a jacket. 

Purging Clothes

Have a Plan

I have two large containers.

The first one is all of the clothes that are hand-me-downs from our big boys going to the twins. 

The second container is for clothes the twins have outgrown that are going to Matthew. (Generally, I have two of the same outfit coming from the twins. So I save one outfit for Matthew and give the matching outfit to a friend or family member who can use it. All of Matthew’s outgrown clothes are passed on to a friend who has a little boy that is a year younger than Matthew.)

These two containers are kept in an area that is out of the way, but still accessible so I can add to them at any point. Someone in our house is always outgrowing something, so I need these containers handy and accessible.

We also have great friends and family who are always passing clothes onto my kiddos. So I need these containers handy for anything that can not be placed in the recipients closet now.

Remember to go through the containers on a seasonal basis to see what can be worn by the new hand-me-down owner.

As a side note: As Garrett (11) and Anthony (9) receive hand-me-downs from cousins, they generally fit into them immediately or within the next season, so I just hang all of those items in their closets.  (Although there are two years between Garrett and Anthony, they wear the same shirt sizes. Pants for the most part are not passed on to one another because they have two very different body types. In other words, they might share shirts in the now, but there is really not a hand me down process from the 11 yr old to the 9 yr old. )

For what it is worth, I also have a container for costumes. I do this for two reasons.

  • Fosters imaginary play year round
  • Allows us to hand the costumes down during Halloween. It has been great to see our littler kids wear the costumes we’ve made memories in with the bigger kids in previous years.

More Solutions

Need some toy storage solutions, decluttering tips, garage sale tips and more pointers on purging? I found these awesome articles for you!

Toy Storage Solutions by Org Junkie
The Dreaded DeCluttering by Beautiful Habitat
Tips for Organizing Hand-Me-Downs by Org Junkie
How to Purge Clothes and Let Go by Org Junkie
10 Tips to a Successful Garage Sale  by Being Frugal
Twins and Hand-Me-Downs by Crystal & Co.

. . . . . . .

And don’t forget to check out all of the bloggers participating in the Resolutionize Your 2011 series!

Resolutionize Your Kitchen with Eat at Home
Resolutionize Your Budget with Bucksome Boomer
Resolutionize Your Mommy-tude with Savin Some
Resolutionize Your Green Life with The Greenbacks Gal
Resolutionize Your Wallet with The Coupon Mommie
Resolutionize Your Home with Coupon Cookin’


  1. Kristy says

    I've seen Toy Story 3! I know what happens to toys that get put in black trash bags. LOL! I have been purging myself of fabric I really had good intentions with, but will probably never use. I hate doing it, but I gotta make room!

  2. Lynnie says

    Oooh….I love the clothes part. I have 3 girls and it is getting out of hand. Their clothes are having babies!!!

  3. Crystal says

    Kristy- when we went to see Toy Story 3 I could not help but think I would never ever bag up toys and give them away again. Then reality set in… and we came home and tripped over this and that and I was done with the whole 'toys have feelings, say what?' thing. :)

    Hyde- glad you stopped by and thanks for following!

    Red- I've considered a room just for toys.

    Lynnie- totally agree! Clothes multiply over night. So does laundry! 😉

  4. Kelly's Lucky You says

    Great tips! I have only one child and we get over-run, I can't even imagine what it's like for large families.

    I love all the links you put in too, thanks for giving me more places to explore. I have my coffee and I'm ready to spend some pleasant time following them.

  5. Lindsay says

    While I don't have any kids, I'm a college student. This tends to mean that I have double of stuff (home and dorm clothes). I need to do a good purge at some point. Haha! Thanks for the tips.

  6. Kelli says

    Oh girl, you must be peeking in my windows! It is horrible… I have been out of town TWICE since Christmas and haven't had time to put all the new stuff away, much less get rid of the old. Uggh, I need to get some posts scheduled so I can spend some time taking on my house :-)

  7. Lisa says

    I did the purge at my house and put bags of toys in the attic. I need to go through them now and decide what we are going to do with them now.

  8. ConnieFoggles says

    I do the separate piles of toys and clothes too, but I have boxes ready for each pile already labeled. My problem is that I keep things for a yard sale that never happens!

  9. Survey Junkie says

    Very helpful.. I go through our clothing and our extras I guess I will call them 4 times a year and I could def. use a few of these tips to make the process a bit more effective

  10. Jessi says

    This is a great post. I need to purge a ton of stuff too, from handbags I'll never carry again to clothes the boys have all outgrown. You've got some great tips here, mama!

  11. ♥Yaya's Mommy ♥ says

    WHAT great ideas. I am actually doing this right now at my house (well, trying to). I feel like it is a never ending cycle. Thank you for the great tips. I look forward to trying several.

  12. Mama Motivated says

    The Mr threatened the boys to attack their toy box with a shovel and trash bag so Im thinking its time to purge around here now too. Thnks for the tips.

    Shanaka @ Thrifty Mama B

  13. amy@flexibledreams says

    Right before Christmas I had my kids (ages 4 and 6) "help" me purge toys. It was not nearly as effective as doing it on my own. I know the goal was to teach them a lesson about giving and receiving… but still, it was like pulling teeth. I had a black trash bag behind me that I kept putting stuff in… when they weren't looking.

    Great post! Thanks for the tips.

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