It’s very easy for us to accumulate material items throughout the year, and our children are no exception. Toys, stationery items, books… they all add up if we’re not in the habit of regularly decluttering our space.
But before you begin decluttering the kids’ space, sit them down to explain why it’s important and how you’re going to do it. Involve your children, it will help them to understand and teach them to organise their own space.
One, two, three – reward!
At the beginning of each season it is a good idea to assess what clothing still fits your child. Wash and pack away anything you’d like to keep for a younger sibling and label the box noting the size and season of the garments.
When it comes to decluttering, let the kids play a role. Ask them to put any clothing and shoes don’t fit them anymore into one pile. If these are in suitable condition, they can be donated to charity. This is a sure way to make space in over-jammed drawers.
To keep them motivated, agree on a little reward for creating the three piles.
When it comes to going through clothing and shoes, only keep items that fit and are in suitable condition. Kids outgrow their clothing so quickly, it pays to do this each season, or twice a year. That way you’re not purchasing unnecessary items and only replacing what’s needed.
When it comes to toys, games or treasures, this is when you may be met with some hostility from the kids. Encourage them to keep only their most sentimental toys that are not damaged or broken. Good luck.
TIP: Any sentimental items could be packaged and placed in a memory box and stored away.
This pile should hopefully be the smallest. If so, congratulations. You and your kids have successfully decluttered the wardrobe and play area and have identified the essentials, which should now be back in their due place.
When it comes to toys, help them to feel happy about throwing away or recycling damaged toys.
Children are often very compassionate, so let them know that you’d like for them to donate their clothing, shoes, toys or teddy to others who have very few items of their own.
Explain what a difference their kindness will make to the lives of others less fortunate. Being compassionate is a life trait and that should be encouraged.
Check with your local charity if they accept clothing not suitable for sale. Often torn or stained clothing can be recycled into rags and sold to businesses. Reduce landfill wherever you can.
Be sensible with storage
It’s hard to put items away if there is not suitable storage to keep them. Think carefully about the storage you provide for your children. Make sure it is safe for them to put their treasures and their room can be easily tidied up.
Children are very visual and like to see where their things are kept. Clear plastic storage containers are a good option or open tubs for larger items.
Encourage good tidying habits in their early years so they get used to putting away their toys and clothing. Make tidy-up time a regular part of your kids’ daily routine, rather than a chore at the end of every school holiday. As always, reward great behaviour.
Set regular reminders to declutter
When you’ve decluttered, it’s a rewarding feeling. Having an organised space is good for your mental health and is said to reduce anxiety.
Set reminders to declutter different parts of your home a few times a year. That way it will be less overwhelming, and you will be more likely to tackle and complete the task.