3 kermit the frogs covering eyes, head, and mouth in dismay

How to Declutter Kids’ Toys and Teach New Skills at the Same Time

It’s one week after the holidays (or a child’s birthday party) and you’re staring at the mountain of new toys that has suddenly invaded your living space.

Just looking at all it stresses you out. You asked the relatives to tone it down this year, but Aunt Joanne and Uncle Bob insisted on spoiling your children because they don’t get to see them often. Grandma and Grandpa decided an annual pass to the zoo wouldn’t be any fun to open so they bought more toys. Now, you’re the one faced with the task of organizing it all.

What do you do?

Turn your clutter into a lesson for your kids

Turn your clutter into a lesson for your kids. Encourage them to have a giant old toy clear out.

I know what you’re going to say. The minute you put the Avengers action figures in a donation pile, your children will start playing with them again and beg to keep them.

Here’s an alternative to the donation pile in the garage or car approach. Offer to let you children sell their old toys online and keep the profits. You can stipulate that they put half of the profits in their savings account. Not only will selling toys online teach them new skills, but it will also motivate them to get rid of more stuff and save money. It is a win-win for everyone.

Selling toys online is time-consuming

Admit it, you couldn’t be bothered to sell all the old toys online yourself. It takes far too much time and effort. However, if you teach your children to create the posts they’ll soon be able to do it themselves (with your supervision of course).

If there’s a lesson for our children in this time-consuming process, we’re more willing to spend our free time doing it. Our old toys may be perfect for another child who has just reached a certain developmental stage. Helping our old toys find a new home will also clear space for our new ones.

Take the time to teach your kids how to sell their toys online. You’re preparing them for the future by showing them the benefits of reducing clutter, using technology, and saving money.

Which online platform will you use?

kids looking at computer, excitedly

First, decide which online platform you’ll use. Will you teach them to use eBay and learn how the shipping process works? Or, will you choose a local online platform where someone can come collect the toys. Your neighborhood might have a site you can use or you can try Craigslist. It’s important to discuss the safety aspects of all of these options.

If you don’t know of a platform in your area, a simple Google search should reveal local buying and selling choices. There may be one geared specifically for children’s clothes and toys.

Choose the best price

How much money will you ask for the toy? Do some research with your children? What condition is the toy in? Is it in excellent condition, good, fair, or poor.

Find similar toys for sale. How much are people charging? Is the price different if you sell locally vs. selling nationally or even internationally with a hefty shipping fee included?

Which platform makes the most sense for your goals. Is your toy a sought-after collector’s item in another country?

These are all questions to consider as your choose a price and platform for your toy. If your children are older, you may want to have them do this research and report their findings to you.

If you have younger children, you may just want to choose the price and platform and simply teach them that a used toy won’t command as much money as a new one.

Teach kids the basics of marketing

chalkboard with 'marketing strategy' written in chalk

There is even a writing lesson in this process.

Teach your kids how marketeers purposely choose language to make products sound appealing. Discuss the wording of your post. Don’t teach your kids to lie or exaggerate, but do encourage them to write why they enjoyed playing with the toy they are now selling. What makes it fun or special? Describe it accurately.

You can even incorporate measurement into this lesson by finding the toy’s dimensions!

By teaching your children the online sales process, they’ll learn to write an advertisement and choose the best language to sell the toy.

Add a photo. “A picture is worth a thousand words” or so the old adage goes. I never consider posts without pictures. Discuss how to take a good quality photo of your toy with appropriate lighting and a distraction-free background. Have your kids take the photos and upload them to the post.

Helping your kids create an online advertisement not only gets rid of clutter, but also provides a brilliant, real-life writing and marketing lesson.


Turn your organizational dilemma into a lesson for the entire family. Sell your old toys online.

Your children will learn many things through this process. They’ll learn:

  • How to save a percentage of their earnings and the benefits of doing this
  • How to declutter and get their old things to people who may want them
  • How to research pricing and choose the best platform for their goals
  • How to use the technology to create a post, sell a product, and communicate through the platform
  • How to write persuasively and truthfully to sell
  • The importance of using good quality images in advertisements

We’ve started this process in the Grant household today. I’ll let you know how it goes and if my kids keep their motivation for selling old toys.

If you try it, let me know what happens. Or, if you have better suggestions for getting rid of old toys, organizing new ones, or convincing your relatives not to buy your kids so many things, I would love to hear them!

If you liked this post, you may also like this one:

Teach Kids To Be More Independent With A Calendar Routine

Or this one:

How to Raise Grateful Kids in a Materialistic World

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