Lent is coming up soon and with it the 40 bags in 40 days for Lent. One of the constant questions I see on this blog is how to declutter with children. There is no denying that children bring with them a bunch of stuff. But they also can learn the value of simplicity very early and are indeed happy when there world is not overburdened with stuff.
Here are a few ideas I have collect to help anyone who might be struggling with how to get their littles on board with decluttering.
10 Tips for decluttering with children.
- Involve your children in the process. – Let them have a say in what stays and what goes. By having a discussion over some of the things that it is more difficult to let go of you help them build good mental habits for the future.
- Declutter once a month: Schedule a time every month to go through and get rid of the build up. This includes broken toys, stained or otherwise ruined clothing and anything too small or outgrown.
- Purge toys and clothing before every birthday and Christmas (gift giving holiday): Make room for the new.
- 15 Min bedroom pick-up every morning: Make it part of the morning routine. Make the bed, pick up laundry, throw away any trash, put away anything that is out, put away anything that doesn’t belong. A fresh start every day is a wonderful habit to build.
- Let them be generous: If your child wants to give something away don’t try to talk them out of it. Maybe your Great-Aunt Sally did buy that stuffed dolphin on her trip to Guam. IF Jr wants to let it go don’t complicate it with your own sentimentality.
- Teach them to let go not to hold tight: Empower your child to let go of things they no longer play with. Praise them when they drop something into the donation box.
- Only allow in what you have space for: If your book shelf can’t fit the new book what will you let go? You love your new swimsuit, let’s get rid of the old one.
- Don’t do the toy box thing: Toy Box = Clutter Bomb. Children have a hard time with toy boxes, they will empty them to get something on the bottom, favorite things get broken, little things are lost. Replace the toy box with cubby, bins or open shelving. Collections like Barbies, toy soldiers, tea party and Legos can be in containers but not everything mixed in together.
- Capture the memory not the thing: Take pictures of your children holding their art projects, school projects, paintings and all those wonderful things they create.
- Let even good things go: Just because something is wonderful doesn’t mean it is something you should keep it. No matter how beautiful, useful, educational or expensive something is, if it isn’t bringing joy to your child you should let it go so it can bless someone else.