“Minimalism in an RV: Taming the Toy Clutter Beast” is part 3 of a Minimizing series I started recently. You can read the rest of the series here. Today I want to talk about taming that wild beast many parents battle with daily-the toy clutter.

“British research found that the average 10-year-old own 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).”

I’ve joined different groups on Facebook, mostly RV ones but also The Minimalist Family, and I have seen the same question worded many ways: How do I downsize tbe amount of toys we own? Many parents are realizing that more toys just overwhelm children and take away from quality playtime. How can we tame the toy clutter beast and bring quality back into our children’s playtime? By minimizing! 

Here are pointers that might help you on your minimizing journey towards freedom from the toy clutter beast:

  • Decide upon a certain space for toys. You might divide toys up into 3 categories such as: independent play, group games, and outdoor toys.
  • For independent play toys in an rv, it is best in the kids’ rooms so that the floor clutter is out of the main living area.
  • Some Travel Trailers are so small that there is no actual floor space and just bunk beds. In these situations I would suggest having a small storage container in the bottom of the closet, at the end of the bed (on the mattress if needed), or find some hanging storage solutions.
Our boys actually have toys, puzzles, and cardboard books in 5 of these six drawers. Our fifth wheel actually feels quite spacious.
  • When downsizing their independent play toys, start by placing everything in a big pile in the middle of the room. 
  • If your children are old enough to help, have them go through toys and give input on what they love and what gets played with the least.
  • Bring along bags to discard any broken toys or use for donation toys.
  • I personally try to keep mostly gender neutral, used-over-many-years type toys. Blocks, toy cars, Little People figures, and others have worked well for my toddler and 8 year old boys. I also feel each kid should have 1-3 items that are specific to just them.
The bottom drawers have diapers, toddler puzzles, and our 8 year old’s puzzles. 
As you can see, most of these toys can be played with by either of our boys. The cardboard books are the toddler’s along with the blocks and rings. Our older boy has Legos in the closet.
This is the bottom of their large closet. Even though we are minimalist, I still struggle with keeping things they don’t play with. The Little People barn and Mega Blocks never get played with. The Legos are in here so the toddler can’t get into them.
  • I feel group games are best stored near the dining table. This makes board games, cards, and other activities within easy reach when you are ready to play.
This long cabinet stores our group games (left) and my older son’s reading books, plastic microscope, and crayons (right).
  • We downsized our board games drastically by being honest with what we actually played with and by condensing many of the classics to one smaller boxed set.
This is our understorage compartment for outdoor toys. It could use some organizing but I’m the least strict in this area. Everything fits and that makes me happy enough!
The storage compartment goes deeper on one side and fits my husband’s bat bag nicely.
  • My last pointer to tame the wild beast is to go through the kids’ toys about every 2-4 months. Make sure they are still playing with everything or if it is time for it to find a new home.
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