I sat in my daughter’s floor for the third time in three weeks sifting through the massive pile of toys that had taken over her closet. I sighed, while she cried because she didn’t want to get rid of any of her “favorite” toys. Suddenly every toy she had ever owned was a favorite! I’ve been on a mission to simplify our lives and declutter our home for a couple of years now. Trying to figure out how to declutter with kids is a challenge. There is always an influx of stuff. Birthdays and Christmas bring in more toys, and children are always outgrowing clothes and shoes. How to manage it all?
How to Declutter with Kids
I’m no expert. In fact, I’m still trying to figure this out, but this is what I do, but here’s my secret to decluttering with kids.
Monthly Toy Purge
About every month I make it a habit to go through the kids’ toys and get rid of junk. “Junk” usually includes happy meal type toys and toys that are broken and unusable. I can manage to do this when they kids aren’t paying attention. They are either visiting grandparents or distracted with a toy they actually play with. They honestly never even notice when I do my monthly toy purge.
Bi-Annual Big Toy Purge
I like to consign with our local children’s consignment sale. I have the kids help me find the good toys that they haven’t played with in ages. We clean them up and get ready to re-sell them. I let them know that they can each pick a new toy at the sale. This helps us get rid of things we don’t need and make a little extra cash.
Bi-Annual Clothing Purge
Since I have almost five children, I don’t sell as many clothes as I used to. I do take the time to toss old clothes that are too stained or have holes. I then package up clothes that will be handed down by gender/sizes into large tubs to go into storage.
Organizing What’s Left
I’m a big proponent of bins and boxes. I teach my children that certain types of items go in certain bins. For example, the boys have a box for their cars, and a special bag for their wooden blocks. My kids LOVE to dump the contents of one bin everywhere. They are taught to put it away when they are done. It’s not a perfect system, but when it works, it works.
I’ve learned it’s best to lead by example. If my kids see me decluttering my own things and keeping my space neat, they are more open to declutter their space and keep it neat.
Want to know one way I am decluttering this year? I’m using Elsie Callender’s Your Simple Home Handbook to help me declutter my home one room at a time. I really like Elsie’s approach to decluttering. She takes you on a step-by-step approach through all of the areas of your home and offers very useful nuggets of information to really help you let go of the items you don’t need and keep and organize the items you do. I’m enjoying it immensely so far!
My favorite decluttering and storage items for kids!
I love the Better Homes and Gardens fabric storage bins. They are so sturdy and great for storing toys and clothes.
You need a toy box. We put ours in the closet, but if you have space this one doubles as a bench in your kids’ room.
Are you ready to declutter your house this year? What are some of your best decluttering strategies?