Five Tips On Toy Rotation


If your house is anything like my house this time of year, there are new toys. Everywhere. Dolls and books and stray crayons, missing puzzle pieces, legos and teddy bears. Enter in two birthdays between Christmas and the end of January in our household, and we have gotten loads of new fun stuff all within 30 days! Our house is starting to look like Toys R Us…


It’s overwhelming, as a mom, to know exactly where to put everything. On the family room floor for a few months? I think not. One solution that has worked for us is Toy Rotation. I have found rotating toys to be an easy task that not only eliminates clutter, but prevents kids from feeling overwhelmed with options, so they play with their toys even more. This gives mom extra time to get some work done (lots of photo-editing for me), pin on Pinterest, or just take a quick shower. 🙂  Here are five tips that have worked for us. I hope they help you too!

1. PREPARE First, buy a few large plastic tubs. We usually only need one or two. My favorite tubs are the Room Essentials brand from Target –  I prefer to use clear plastic with a top handles that snap closed. Label the tub TOYS. I also love these large chalkboard labels from Etsy.


2. PURGE Next, go through your toy areas with a garbage bag. Throw away any trash, Happy Meal toys, broken toys, or anything that is garbage-worthy. Recycle as necessary. Kids can help with this too. Easy enough! Doesn’t that feel good?

3. DONATE After you have purged, find a cardboard box and label it DONATE. Add any unwanted toys or items the kids have outgrown to this box. This is a great activity to do with the kids, so they can learn the value of giving as well as receiving.

4. STORE Now that you have gotten rid of much clutter, fill your plastic toy tubs with a good amount of toys. Leave out just enough so they have some good options during the day, but enough that you eliminate the toy clutter that you don’t have room for. Make sure to include all of the pieces, instruction manuals, etc. I prefer to store our TOY tubs in our storage room, out of sight from the kids.


5. ROTATE Here is the fun part! After a few weeks, or a few months, open your TOY tubs with your kids. It’s like Christmas all over again! Place  recently-used toys into the tubs, and store those toys for a few months. There will be so many fun toys and games that the kids have already forgotten about.

A couple other tips involving toy rotation:

  • Trade with a friend! Instead of storing your tub, swap with another family for some totally new toys! This will save money too!
  • A great time to add to your tub is right after a birthday party or holiday. Don’t be afraid to add unopened gifts, they will be twice as much fun to open when there are no new gifts to compete with.
  • We use Ikea’s Expedit shelving units (seen above and  below) all over our home. They are inexpensive, sturdy, and make organizing a snap.



I hope these simple tips are helpful and inspiring to you! If you already have a great method for toy storage and organization, I would love to hear your tips as well!




Nealy is a full-time photographer and Twin Cities mom of four busy blue-eyed children under seven. She is owner of Photography By Nealy, specializing in newborn, family, and senior photography in Minneapolis and St. Paul. You can check out Nealy’s work as a photographer on her website Photography By Nealy and Facebook. Also follow her daily life on Instagram.


  1. I keep the majority of my daughters’ toys in a closet with a baby lock on the door. They are allowed 1 or 2 small baskets each and have to clean everything up before a new set of toys can come out. It has made my house so much cleaner and me way less crazy about clutter!


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