This week we’re turning the blog over to our incomparable Director of Business Development, Meri MacEacheron. She has been working with us for two years and has two children so she definitely has some great tips for decluttering with kids!
A Much Needed Clear Out
Tea Parties, Animals and Legos…Oh My!
Walking into my daughter’s room, I see her imagination frozen in time: a doll tea party, stuffed animals lovingly tucked into blankets and Lego cities lining the floors. I smile, pause and then…think about doing a much needed clear out while she’s at school.
While I’m fueled with retaliation for all the countless Lego pieces I’ve stepped on over the years, I know these are her prized possessions. She might be upset if I take it upon myself to get rid of her treasures while she’s not home. (Enter last year’s Dear Santa letter: “Please bring me a new kitchen because mommy sold my old one while I was at school”). Guilty!
The Rapid Accumulation of “Stuff”
A Quarterly Edit
With young children, the accumulation of toys, books and general “stuff” can occur pretty rapidly. Before you know it, you have a room that can feel overwhelming, disorganized, and cluttered to both you and your child. It’s important to know when books and toys should be assessed to make sure they are still in play and age appropriate. At Done & Done, we recommend doing an edit every three months to avoid potentially volcanic bins and bursting bookcases. While many children feel reluctant to say goodbye to some of their favorite things, you may be pleasantly surprised at their willingness to spend the day with you. They will ultimately thank you for a neater and more inviting space.
A Saturday Well Spent
How To Make The Day Go Smoothly
I knew we were long overdue in my household for a reality check. I told my daughter that we were going to spend a Saturday going through her toys and books and see what we could pass on to less fortunate kids. It was surprising how receptive she was to the idea! However, I knew we had to move quickly since I was up against an 8 year old’s attention span. We applied all of Done & Done’s best practices and added some kid-friendly tools and tactics that made our day go smoothly.
5 Tips To Implement
First, we pulled everything out (insert tornado here) and started creating our piles: Keep, Donate, and Throw Away/Recycle.
Tip 1: Have Your Child Take The Lead On Making Piles: It’s important for them to feel a part of the process and to stay engaged. In all likelihood, your child will want to keep more items than donate. Keep reiterating how another child will really enjoy playing with those toys. (You can read more about this process here.) This is also a great time to get rid of all those orphaned pieces that love to live at the bottom of bins.
Tip 2: Make It Fun! Have some music on hand for a pop-up dance party or 10 (thank you Kidz Bop). We had fun dancing while donating and being silly when we needed a good stretch.
Tip 3: Hydrate And Snack Frequently: A hangry meltdown (for you or your child) can be detrimental to your declutter! Keep the peace with frequent drinks and snacks.
Now that you have everything out, it’s time to really put your junior organizer to work. Put “like with like” and sort your items into categories.
Tip 4: Bring On The Label Maker! My daughter had a huge interest in grouping things together. Working with the label maker was probably her favorite part of the day! She had a blast labeling her bookshelves, her Beanie Boo bins and, yes, my nose! The labelpalooza was not only fun, but will also help keep her room organized going forward.
Tip 5: Stay Vigilant: This tip is just for the adults. Now that you have dealt with the stray toys and the errant (evil) Legos, it’s your job to watch the front door. Be intentional with every toy or book you purchase. Remember that much more will be coming into your home for birthdays and holidays. Therefore, when you’re stuck in line at Target and your kid is begging you to buy the bright shiny piece of plastic, just say no! The less that comes in, the less you will have to eventually get rid of.
Quality Time and Healthy Habits
You can find all of our favorite bins and containers in our shop! We especially love the 3 Sprouts line from The Container Store for organizing in young children’s rooms.
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