Organizing

How-To Gets Your Kids Involved in the De-Cluttering Process

Did you catch my last post?? I hope that this calendar is helping you feel productive in this uncertain time. Today we are talking about how to get your kids involved. Since most kids are home from school these days, what a better time to teach them the art of letting go! Haha! But seriously though, the sooner our kids stop giving so much value to things the better. We can all benefit from this skill wouldn’t you agree?? The Bible says “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NASB, and because of that I believe that our treasure should not be in things of this earth, things we can’t take with us when this life is over. Just a thought. 🙂

I know this can be a challenge for some kids. Some kids are more sentimental than others. You can set some kids on this task and they will purge with ease, others will hold onto every toy, every wrapper, every ticket stub. For those kids that have a little more trouble I have a few suggestions.

  • Give them a number limit that you are comfortable with. If they have 50 stuffed animals, but they really only have room for 30, then be honest with them about that.
  • Offer to just put them away for awhile if they are unwilling to part with them for good (that is if you have room to store them).
  • If you live in a small space and storage is at a minimum then regular clean-outs probably have to be your reality. In this case, make sure the kids understand where their ‘discarded’ things are going. Rather than just donating to goodwill you can find a local charity that helps kids – like maybe a foster care organization. Talk to your kids about these kids and what they are going through and explain to them that you are making them smile by donating your things. Kids have big hearts and really like to help other kids.

I have both kinds – two that really don’t give value to much of anything, one that wants to keep every scrap of paper, and another that’s kind of in the middle. The struggle is real sometimes with the ‘hoarder’.

It’s definitely gotten easier as he’s gotten older, but still. He thinks he needs a closet full of shirts. He has so many that they can’t all be worn in a month.  🙄 Over the years I’ve had to teach him to only keep what he truly loves. It’s a hard lesson for a lot of us, but it is one that can be taught.

I hear a lot of moms say they do the de-cluttering when the kids aren’t home so they don’t know what’s being thrown away. Honestly, I get that to a certain degree. When the kids were younger I would certainly sort through their toys and trash all the happy meal toys, bouncy balls, and broken things without their knowledge. But, when it came to the bigger things, I tried to include them.

We would typically do a big toy clean out before Christmas. Because, well, we knew there were more toys coming. Have you ever watched a child in an over-stuffed playroom? Oftentimes they are overwhelmed and don’t know what to play with. Just because you can give them every toy in the store doesn’t mean you should. lol. Another option with toys is to rotate them. This is a great method because old toys suddenly become new again when they re-appear from storage! Have your kids pick their current favorites and then store away the rest to be brought out on a rainy day!

When working with kids, just as you do, make sure you take it in small bites. Don’t try to de-clutter their entire room at once. Watch and make sure they are not getting too overwhelmed with the process. This should not cause too much stress, but rather relieve it! If you have an indecisive child (as I do) it’s ok to make a ‘maybe’ pile along with the ‘keep’ and ‘donate’ piles. Just make sure that you re-visit this pile at the end.

I hope these tips are helpful for you as you work through this task this month. Of course the kids seeing you doing it is a huge bonus! Honestly they will probably catch the bug just by watching, which will make your job that much easier!!

Happy de-cluttering!! As with any other space in your home, you don’t have to go crazy with spending a ton of money on organizational systems. Find what works best for each individual kiddo and go with that. Baskets and bins are great for corralling smaller items. Think about utilizing under-the-bed storage. Anything you can do to give them ample play space is very helpful!

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