At Home Parenting

The big toy clear out…

July 20, 2017
big toy clear out

Being a parent can sometimes feel like a constant struggle to keep up with the newest and coolest toys. Mine are still a little young to be in competition with school friends, but I see it with the Chrismas toys selling out weeks before the big day only to be discarded a week or so later! Even though I am not at that stage yet we do have A LOT of toys, so many that I forget we have them and I know the girls do as well. 

As much as I try not to be influenced by the newest toy on the market or the toy that is ‘the best way for a child to learn’ or ‘the toy that truly helps with sleep’ (I am a sucker for that one) there are times when I do need to hand over money for new toys, a great example recently being for our toddlers 3rd birthday. So what better way to do this than by selling the old ones?

As we have two children we have found that a lot of our eldest’s baby toys have been reused and saved us buying more, but as both are growing and have different needs there still is a requirement for age-appropriate/different toys (there are also some things that our eldest still uses that we need duplicates of)! With those new toys and all of the toys being handed down we have found that there are loads in the cupboard we need to sort. The newborn toys also really need to go to a new home…

I’ve been making a list, starting to clear out cupboards and doing my research about a few strategies for getting rid of old toys and found there are actually quite a few different ways to do it so here are the ways I am going to try and have a toy clear out!

Arrange Swaps

If you’re friendly with a few other parents, why not hold a kids toy or clothes swap night (a bit like the old ‘clothes parties’ from years ago). Ideally you’ll have a mixture of parents that have children with a wide range of ages so you can come away with logical ‘step-ups’ for the next age group your kids will enter. In return this will give you more chance to pass on your old toys to parents with younger children.

Put them on eBay

This works best for items in decent condition or larger items that might be difficult to disassemble like large baby equipment. To save hassle, list the item as ‘collection only’, which will appeal to local people who may not want to pay for postage and can pick up from you directly. Anyone not local can use a courier for large items like Shiply to arrange the delivery themselves.

Check out your local toy library

There are quite a few toy libraries around which provide play sessions for children and have practitioners trained to help with selecting toys specific to a child’s age or development. Consider donating your used toys to a toy library, and you could use it to test out toys that your child has been asking for before making the investment by buying a new one!

Local online marketplaces

For items of little value, something like eBay might not be appropriate as they can end up costing more in postage and eBay fees than the effort you’ve used to get it out of your house. There are lots of Facebook groups and websites like Gumtree that are for buying and selling without charging fees to do so, so find the one for your local town and start posting. If they still don’t sell, giving them away to a charity shop might be your last resort in getting it re-homed rather than sent to landfill.

NCT nearly new sales

Most areas have a local NCT group. Find your local one on Facebook and see if they have a nearly new sale. Not only are they great for picking up great quality toys and baby/child products you can also sell some of your items as long as they are in good condition. I bought a lot of things for our first at a nearly new sale and it was so busy – definitely one to consider.


I hope this has given you a few ideas to help get rid of unwanted toys. Let me know how you get on and if you have any other ideas! 

Sarah xx

*This is a collaborative post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... July 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    My children can’t bear to part with anything. Luckily there is a younger sibling to hand down to but longer term we need to think about reducing the clutter…

  • Reply Jeannette @autismmumma July 22, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Great idea about arranging a toy swap!
    We’ve donated to the toy library in the part and I sometimes take toys that would be too much hassle to sell (due to postage) along to local groups/nurseries.

  • Reply Jane - Our Little Escapades July 22, 2017 at 7:43 am

    We are drowning in toys and a toy clear our has been on my to do list for most of this year. I will get round to it at some point. I used to ebay a lot of things but I have fallen out of love with it at the moment. I tend to donate most of it to our school and nursery now x

  • Reply Little B & Me July 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Such great ideas,
    My mum swears by Shpock! She’s sold SO much on there.

    I have had great experiences with the for sale sites & pants ones, worst are the time wasters!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post though, I love getting B to appreciate toys especially 2nd hand ones & I like teaching him to give away toys he doesn’t use.

  • Reply The Daisy Pages July 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I generally took toys to our local charity store. They were delighted to have them and it gives that feel good factor, too. Musical instruments and the like – that were expensive – generally went on eBay. Clearing out really makes me conscious of how much stuff the kids have and not to buy so much in the future. Great post 🙂

  • Reply Laura dove July 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    With four children we have more toys than we know what to do with. I give a lot to our local children’s hospice, my children don’t even notice and I’d rather they went to a worthy home.

    • Reply Sarah July 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      That’s a great idea, I might look into that as well x

  • Reply Tanita July 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Oh I feel like I am forever having a clear out with my two’s toys. I have actually found that they don’t need that much especially in the summer they are always outdoors. I really try to be conscious to not buy them so many toys. xx

    • Reply Sarah July 23, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      I have definitely bought them too many and am regretting it now… big clear out is underway! X

  • Reply Debbie Nicholas July 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    We are moving this week so have just had a serious clear out. Ended up taking about three quarters of their toys out!!

    • Reply Sarah July 24, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Moving is always a really good incentive to clear out isn’t it. Hope the move goes well x

  • Reply Laura Stevens July 29, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    We are well over due a clear out especially with our son’s birthday coming up. Some brilliant ideas. If you do come across anything that helps them sleep please let me know! X

    • Reply Sarah July 29, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      I definitely will I am always on the look out for it ! X

  • Reply Kimberly July 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I love this! I cleaned out my toy box recently as I have four nieces and nephews and I get all the older ones but they were starting to get a little raggedy. I’ll have to pass this tips along to my brother as well!

    xo, Kimberly

  • Reply Mel July 29, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Brilliant tips! I love a toy swap! When we had a loft, I also used to rotate the toys every 6 months or so, so when the Duplo went in the loft, the barbies could come back down etc. It worked brilliantly and meant my 4 never got bored of their toys.

    • Reply Sarah July 31, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      That’s such a good idea to rotate them xx

  • Reply Emma August 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Some good ideas here! We’ve recently cleared out lots of toys and just taken them to the charity shop. I hate how many toys they kids seem to accumulate and some of them don’t even seem to have all the parts still! x

  • Reply Ky August 7, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    These are brilliant tips. We recently had a bit of a clear out as my little girl turned 3 over the weekend. We have a great little toy shop near us that will buy old toys as long as they are in a good condition. I think it’s a great idea, and a good way of a child making a little bit of money.

  • Reply Natalie Dickinson August 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Luckily my son totally loves having a clear out and whilst we do have the odd bicker about a particular toy it works out pretty good. We have a special save box and then we have a box for the hospital where we drop them off. I think he finds it quite rewarding to donate his old toys that once gave him so much pleasure.

  • Leave a Reply