Are you tired of spending your free time dusting, picking up toys or generally taking care of your possessions? Wouldn’t you rather be reading a book, taking a walk with a friend or hanging out with your kids? Around two ago, my husband and I decided to make a conscious effort to get rid of our ‘junk’. Basically, we grew tired of not being able to find items when we needed them.
Fast forward six months, and I would say there is definite progress being made. I am now a regular in the donating line at the thrift stores instead of in the purchasing line.
I can easily find items in the kitchen, our bedroom and in every closet in the house. Progress has been made in every room, but one area that we are still really struggling with is the kid’s room!
So, this photo was taken over a year ago, but if you really look at this picture, you will notice that our kids like to play with the laundry baskets, toy baskets, blankets and pillows. I tried sorting toys into plastic bins and plastic shoe boxes, but the system is hard for my 5 and 3 year old kids. I love sorted toys and the kids could care less. I have also used pretty cloth baskets to corral toys, but they either don’t play with the toys inside or they dump the entire bag out to find what they are looking for.
In my search for a solution, I came across the book, Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home, by Joshua Becker. I was sold from the beginning where he writes, “Living life is more enjoyable than managing and organizing stuff.” We spend so much time trying to organize our possessions, only to have to do it again in a week or so. If we owned less stuff, we could spend our time and money on efforts that actually bring us joy.
While the messages and tips in the book were very helpful for all aspects of downsizing, there were some great hints for making it work with kids. One of my favorites was ‘periodic minimizing,’ where you go in every month or so and remove toys that aren’t being played with. I’ll admit to ‘sorting’ toys into a toy basket that I then snuck out to dump into a donation bag. This eliminates excess clutter and allows kids easier access to the toys they love.
Another tip I loved was to be intentional in your buying (or not buying) of toys. Instead of a lot of cheap toys that will likely break in 10 minutes, consider holding out for quality toys that encourage creativity and exploration.
We have eliminated a lot of excess toys over the past year, and the kids haven’t missed any of them. These days, our biggest (littlest?) problem with clutter is Legos! Both of our kids love Legos, and honestly, I do too. Aspen is incredibly creative with all of these colorful little pieces, and Landry loves the Lego duplo sets.
Yesterday, the kids and I very purposefully went through all the clothes and toys in their bedroom once again. They spent the remainder of the day playing in their room with their favorite toys. I call that a win/win!
Any tips for keeping Legos in check? I am all ears!
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