*DISCLAIMER* This post is brought to you and sponsored by Whirli – an online toy library. HOWEVER – We have been subscribed to Whirli ourselves for 4 months and have paid for the subscription ourselves. All opinions on Whirli are our own and we have adored their service.
I HATE clutter. Better yet, I hate TOY CLUTTER. I know, somebody shoot me but I am that mum. I just cannot cope with any form of “excess” – yep, I’m that “mean Mum”. I just find excess toy clutter really overwhelming and quite hard to manage. Toys are big, they’re hard to find the perfect storage solution for everything and when most of it isnt the flavour of the month, its literally just being stored for the “one day they may like it again” moment.
We have a small house. We really don’t have the capacity to hold onto as many toys as we do. Especially between the two children whose development and interest is growing at a rate that I cant keep up with. One minute we are into building towers and the next minute theyre grown ups that want to look after dolls.
“And what do we do with all these unwanted toys? Move them into other rooms? Put them in storage (huh, what storage?!)? Palm them off on someone else? Sell them? Give them to a charity? Bin them? Since so many toys are made of plastic their fate needs to be carefully thought through.” – Quote from the Whirli website.
So I first heard about Whirli when Rich tagged me in a Facebook post last year. Toy swapping, not shopping. I was intrigued. I have always loved the idea of “toy libraries”, probably because I am more obsessed with trying different toys more than the kids are! But firstly we don’t have anything like that here and secondly, the last time I got a book from the normal library I ended up with a £10 fine because I’m not that organised.
When the company finally launched I was pretty quick to snap up the “Toy Trunk” package which is £19.99 a month – the one that is most ideal for 2 children. I’m quite lucky, due to having a small age gap between mine they generally like to play with the same thing but I like having one of the bigger packages so that we can get big-ticket items like balance bikes etc.
The packages, however, start from as little as £9.99 a month for 90 tokens (which is the equivalent of £90 worth of toys!)
So how does it work?
You get your tokens and you can pick any toys you want from their MAMMOUTH toy selection up to the value of your tokens. You can then keep the toys for as long as you want! There are no time limits of “return by this date” like a normal library you can keep hold of the toys as long as you need and if you keep them for 9 months they are then yours to keep! Perfect as I had panicked that one of the kids may get attached to something but so far they’ve generally enjoyed the variety!
Whirli then delivers the toys to your door. You get a designated time slot so you don’t have to wait around all day – hurrah!
Once you decide you’re done with the toys its super simple to send them back! You send everything back in the box it came it (I collapse them down and keep them under the bed so they dont get in my way) and in the box is a prepaid returns label and even the tape to tape the box back up again – its THAT simple! I’ve also accidentally thrown out a box before and Whirli even sent me out a new one – how accommodating is that?!
They stock cot mobiles, bouncers, jumperoos and baby gyms so you can start a Whirli box from birth.
See if your children actually like toys before buying them:
There have been a few toys that I have ordered that I have been adamant Rory would love and he just hasn’t given a monkeys. I would have ordered and paid for these ordinarily and then been miffed that he wasn’t interested while putting them into the “toy cupboard of doom” for them to collect dust. We don’t have a huge house and we definitely don’t have the space to hold onto unwanted toys on the off chance that he might change his mind or because we feel like we “should” keep them as we have spent money on them! With the Whirli box I can just send them back and swap them for something he will like. I’ve been “umming and arrrring” over getting Rory a Balance Bike for a few months now so have added it to this months list to see how he gets on with it.
Perfect for providing new and exciting toys whilst travelling:
I recently went away with the kids and my family and this would usually be a time where I’d buy new toys for the car journey and then probably buy them a new toy in a shop there too but this time round I ordered some bits from Whirli and took these instead. The kids get new toys and it cost me a fraction of the price.
Great way for updating your toys seasonally:
So we really don’t have storage space and each Summer I have ended up buying a paddling pool and throwing it away! I know – it’s awful! Don’t hate me mother nature please. This year we are going to be updating our “seasonal toys” with Whirli so that once we are done we can just send them back and I dont have to worry about storing bikes, slides and paddling pools in the winter!
Perfect for trying new, typically expensive toy brands:
I am OBSESSED with Wooden Toys and brands like Melissa & Doug, Hape, Le Toy Van & Janod – but they are slightly more of a considered purchase due to being a little pricier. (Can you imagine how annoyed I’d be if Rory turned his nose up too!) HOWEVER, Whirli are full of these amazing brands which means I can stock up the toy box for a fraction of the price. For example, one month we got the Melissa & Doug garage which would usually RRP for £29.99. We paid less than that for the months subscription fee and got 4 additional toys to go with!
Okay, so probably one of my favourite reasons… swapping toys is more sustainable for the planet. Overall there is less mileage and less plastic packaging being used and disposed of and less supply and demand for toys to only have their ten minutes of favourtism with our children. There are less toys being thrown away and ending up in landfill. My sustainable way of reducing toy waste in the past has been to buy and sell toys on Facebook but obviously then you are still holding onto toys instead of being in the knowledge that they can one day be passed onto someone else to enjoy (or at least store them for you!)
So whats the verdict?
I love it. I just love everything about the concept. Everytime I go onto the website to change our toys or order new ones I feel really excited and like I am reliving my childhood. I love being able to pick multiple toys from brands that I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford and I love being able to get toys for the kids and not being disheartened or out of pocket if they decide not to play with them. I actually find it really hard to restrain myself to only pick the toys within my token budget because I want them all (whose the child here?!)
This months Whirli picks:
Le Toy Van Counting Book / Boon Bath Toys Pipe / Melissa & Doug Magnetic Board / Boon Bath Gears / Melissa & Doug Smoothie Maker / Melissa & Doug Cleaning Set / Aquadoodle / Janod Balance Bike / Peppa Pig Camper Van / Bajo Marble Run