I have been in a major decluttering mood lately. Something about January makes me want to dig deep into our house and get things straightened out. For most of my life I lived like a wanna-be hoarder. It would take me so much effort to give away things I no longer used or needed. Those cute jeans I wore in college with the holes in them that will probably never fit me again (or would look horrible and outdated?!)- well I would hold on to them forever. Over the years I have had to train my mind to find the great joy in decluttering and organizing my home. I think I am finally getting the hang of it.
My daughters room was the first to tackle. I stepped into her room about a week after Christmas, and I wanted to pull my hair out. TOYS. EVERYWHERE. It was insane. That is when I decided we had to do something about this. I went to work. No mercy.
Below I list some tips for decluttering a childs’ room. Step by step.
What you need:
Several bins or laundry baskets
STRIP THE BED
I started by stripping the bed. It was about time to wash her bedding, so I threw it all in the wash.
CLEAN UNDER BED
WOAH! How can so many things collect under one persons bed? I was amazed by the lost socks, lost stuffed animals, lost clothes, and lost (ew) crumbs of food under her bed. I salvaged anything worth keeping and put it into a basket for sorting later. I got a trash bag and threw away anything missing a pair, broken, or gross. I finished by sweeping the remains, and running our steam mop. I then moved her bed back.
PULL OUT ALL TOYS (and show no mercy!)
Now is not the time for nostalgia or any Toy Story metaphors. Get your kid involved if they have a say in what they want to keep, or do it away from them if you think they will freak out at the thought of giving toys away. My daughter has become accustomed to these declutter sessions, so she would rather be involved. We made a deal- for every new Christmas gift she got she had to give an old toy away to a friend or donate it. If she didn’t love her new toy enough then she could donate it instead of giving a toy away. This works extremely well for us. Ok- so all the toys are in the center of her room. It looks kind of crazy, like this:
…and we hadn’t started on her barbies or toy chest yet. Next step, grab your laundry baskets or garbage bags. Here is how you label them: TRASH, DONATE, SELL. Then, get started. Anything your child wants to keep, set aside. Anything that can be consigned or sold on Craigslist, Ebay, or swap sites put in one bin. Keep in mind, these items should be almost immaculate and current. Think newish My Little Pony figures with pretty hair or toys bought within the past couple of years. Next, sort through items that child doesn’t want and can be donated. Think items that are gently worn or used but still have plenty of wear. These are perfect for thrift stores or any charities nearby, or maybe a friend at your church with kids. Last, any items that are missing peices, broken, or ANNOY you- throw away. I truly try to limit my throw away pile since I hate contributing to landfill waste, but if it is broken or missing and you cannot think of a way to salvage it then don’t donate it. I don’t do toy rotation bins because I find my daughter truly has her favorite toys, and less is better for her. She has 10 My Little Pony’s she literally plays with 90% of the time- I could probably do away with the rest of her toys and she wouldn’t notice.
NOTICE- this portion of decluttering my be mind numbing. If you own legos or any toys with small peices, this is the most agonizing part. It took me at least TWO hours to go through every peice and organize where everything belongs. If you hate small peices and toys, now is the time to consider donating some toys with too many small peices.
Ok- take a deep breathe. If you got through this part you braved the worst. Take your bins away from your clean space and start the fun part! Organizing!
FIND A NEW HOME FOR EVERYTHING
Before you go out and buy new bins or storage organizers, take an inventory of what you have and what you need. Chances are, if you decluttered like I did, you may already have plenty of storage and organizing bins to put toys away. Here is what I used: a toy chest for bigger and more random toy items, a small basket for barbies and Equestria girls, a large soft mesh basket for stuffed animals, two bins for dress up toys and accessories, a bin for her favorite doll and baby accessories, and her house dresser to store Shopkins, My Little Pony’s, and any other small figurines in dollar store bins. That’s it! I also kept one bin empty to utilize as her “catch all” bin- a bin we would empty once a week and put items in for the time being.
Have your child get involved in this part. Consider labeling bins, or printing pictures of what is inside the bin and securing to the outside of the bin. Every toy should have a home.
GET RID UNWANTED ITEMS QUICK!
My last task was to get rid of unwanted items fast. I donated a few bags to friends’ at my church with young children. I also listed a few things on Craigslist and Ebay. My goal is to get rid of our items withint 14 days.
DO A QUICK ROOM POLISH
Finish up your project by dusting not usually dusted areas (high shelves, dressers, pictures, windows). Sweep and mop thoroughly. Vaccuum if you have carpet. I decided to wash her rug and her curtains since I hadn’t in a while. Step back and enjoy your finished project!
KEEP IT UP
Clutter collects fast. I am amazed at how fast her room has already gotten dirty since our major declutter. Life is messy. But at least now her room isn’t so difficult to clean. I love how everything has a place, and it is so much easier to do a quick pick up. I also think she enjoys playing in her room more. I have found that the less she has, the more she enjoys playing.
I have enjoyed teaching my daughter from a young age the importance of keeping a tidy space, being a good steward of her possessions, and giving items away to friends’ or charities when she no longer plays with them or wants them. I hope as she grows she will understand the values of giving things away as well as not clinging so much to her possessions. She loves her new, clean room!
What are some ways you declutter your childs’ room? Share with me!