Decluttering with your kids

decluttering with your kids

Summer is the best time to partner with your kids in decluttering your home.  You have a little more time during the week without the pace of school.  Your kids need a little something more to do around the house.  Most especially we all need an annual time to declutter what has built up throughout the year.  There are many philosophies on decluttering with your kids.  All have merit.  It’s time to think about what works best in your family.

Working alongside your kids

 

Many of us as kids were just sent to our room to “clean up.”  It might have been a frustrating experience. Where do we start? What does our room need to look like in the end?  What do we do with all our stuff?  Work alongside your kids to get their rooms organized.  Start with trash.  There’s a lot of it!  Trash includes anything broken, stained or unusable.  Coach your child through categories.  It can be general, like toys, clothes and media.  Then work through sub categories, like XBox and Wii, Barbies and Barbie clothes, or vehicles and animals.  Start to pare down once everything is grouped together. It’s much easier to let go of stuff if you know what you have.  Keep working steadily with your kids until they start disengaging.  It’s good for you to continue without then at this point and work until the space is complete.  By working together, your kids will learn the organizing process, learn to simplify and learn that less is more!

 

Working without your kids

 

Sometimes kids’ spaces are too overwhelming for them to be a part of the organizing process. As the parent,  you know there need to be changes.  Go ahead and organize their space without them.  It will be a blessing to them that you are working at organizing.  You can delete toys and place  these in black garbage bags in the garage to be sure you have not eliminated a precious item.  Start by grouping items together, then deleting what is excessive.  Create spots to store the items so that your kids can easily access them and label each spot.  Your kids will need a “tour” of the space and some reminders on how to stay organized.

 

 Kid keepsakes

 

Most kids have school and other papers in their space. It’s best to have a keepsake box for them. It’s a place to stash what they think is precious for their keepsakes.  If your child is an artist, think of a display area for their work.  Many parents are using clothespin lines for art display.  If your child creates lego structures, think of adding ledge shelving for display.  Honoring your kids’ keepsakes is another way of connecting with them.

 

Other decluttering tips:

 

  • Your children can share their blessings by decluttering before a birthday or holiday. Encourage your children to donate to local philanthropies that are important to your family, such as a women’s shelter or relief fund.
  • Sell the items online or at consignment and have them also learn about money.  Go through your children’s clothes at summer and winter intervals to be sure only what fits is in the drawers or closet.
  • If you store clothes for the next sibling, keep these in uniform, labeled containers with the size, season and gender on the outside of the container.
  • If your children are not ready to part with certain toys, the toys can “go on vacation” on an upper shelf or other storage area to be brought out later.  Expect to work together for 30 minutes, and then finish up.

 

Great kid storage options

 

IKEA small bins

IKEA small bins

 

 

Kids keepsake boxes

Kids keepsake boxes

 

 

toy organizing

Container Store busy boxes

 

 

More organizing ideas for busy parents here!

4 replies
  1. Autumn Leopold
    Autumn Leopold says:

    Great tips Ellen! I love the idea that when a child isn’t ready to part with the toy it can go on vacation. That is another option I am going to try with Sam as we are in the de-cluttering toy process right now! I also have the IKEA Trofast system for his Lego.

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Love the idea of toys going on vacation! It’s also good to “re-arrange” toys to different spots at your home to distribute them. They are new again!

  3. Sabrina Q.
    Sabrina Q. says:

    Great tips Ellen! I like that you mentioned to get rid of the toys they don’t want before a birthday party. I love to have my children go through their toys in mid-October so they can donate the stuff they don’t want before the holidays. It helps them and also helps others who may want the items that we donated for holiday presents. It’s a win-win! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ellen Delap
    Ellen Delap says:

    Yes, there are 2 very important times to declutter, just before birthdays and holidays. It’s so upsetting to know that there are way too many toys for the space in your home. Prevent frustration with decluttering!

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