Recently I’ve felt overwhelmed with all the stuff in our house, especially with the kid’s toys, books, and random things they decide to put in a tote bag or play cart to drag and then leave around the house. Somehow, despite my repeated attempts to put things away, and teaching the kids to do a quick clean up before going to bed, the stuff multiplies and migrates from room to room. It was especially bad recently with stuffed animals and books on tables, chairs, and floors.
In one particular frustrating moment when they would not clean up, Brian and I picked up all the toys that were laying on the ground, put it all into a hamper, and put it in the garage. We told them they could have it back when they took better care of their things.
Well, the kids cried and screamed at first, but now, a month later, they’ve forgotten about it. We ended up donating most of it. While I try to be conscientious of the stuff we bring into the house or give our children, I guess it wasn’t enough. I think our accidental experiment has been good for all of us. I decided to expand it a bit further.
A couple of weeks ago, the stuffed animals were getting out of control. I collected all the stuffed animals and I had the girls pick 5 or 6 stuffed animals that they loved and I said that we were saying “bye bye” to the rest. It seemed to do the trick. We put their friends in baskets beside their beds and their bedrooms are less cluttered.
Next I had the girls pick 6 books each that they would like to keep to read. I sorted the baby books they’ve outgrown to donate, and then collected the remaining books and put it into a basket and tucked it out of sight.
At first I was worried that taking away the books was going a bit far, but we visit the local libraries at least twice a week. They get their book fix there and we check out books all the time. We’ve re-checked out books that we’ve read before too, so it’s not like they’re deprived too much, if at all!
Confession: This hasn’t been an easy process for me either!
I’m having a hard time deciding what to do with the remaining stuffed animals! Right now they’re in our closet and I’m kind of having a sentimental attachment to their things. I might have to recruit Brian to help me get over it and have it leave our house, or just hold onto a couple and then let the rest go.
In the meantime, this week I’m working on clearing out their closet and drawers. It’s going a lot quicker because I’m not so attached to their clothes!
How do you deal with kid clutter? I definitely go through phases of let’s get this done to my babies are growing up and everything they touch is precious.