Here are some tips to help ease into decluttering with your kids. Here is what helped my kids accept the decluttering process.
I wanted to share these tips that I learned along my decluttering journey. They have not only helped us declutter, but stay clutter free.
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When I started this decluttering journey I decided to tell everyone. I found it easier to tell my children what was going on so they wouldn’t be confused.
Since my children are still young I just say, “we are getting rid of the things we don’t need”. This simple sentence is easy for anyone to understand. I say this to anyone who asks why we are decluttering or why we want to be minimalist.
If my children were older I would probably explain in more detail and have them help.
If your kids are young, like mine are, I like to focus on finding the toys they don’t play with or have grown out of. Children are constantly changing! As soon as I see they aren’t playing with certain toys I will hide them away in a closet.
By hiding the toy it gives my boys a chance to realize something is missing and ask about it. If they don’t ask, I simply donate the box of stuff.
Declutter Slowly to Become Minimalist
I like to declutter slowly so my children aren’t shocked when they walk into their room. By paying close attention and going slow I can really see what they are using and what is getting tossed aside. By going slow they are less likely to notice a huge difference.
Obviously if your child is older you are going to have to talk to them about what is going on, but I still feel slow is better. This way they don’t feel they are being forced to get rid of things.
I have noticed by decluttering throughout an entire year, it gave me time to realize I wasn’t using certain items. With the KonMari Method, which I love, I feel a little rushed. What I like to do is use the KonMari method of pulling everything out and deciding what we won’t use, but then taking note of certain items that I am unsure about.
If I make a literal note or a mental note of when I decluttered, I can see over the next 3 to 6 months if I use these items I was unsure about.
This method applies to children and their toys and clothes. I will declutter and make a note of when I decluttered and then I will pay attention to what they don’t play with very often. If I notice they aren’t playing with certain toys for 3 or more months, I will donate them.
We don’t want to shock our kids! One trick is to prioritize the toys they love and you are keeping. One day when I had decluttered a lot of toys I set up the fire house that my husband made to look very interesting.
I set up all the cars and action figures. My children came into the room and their attention was on the fire house and not on what was missing. Try to reorganize the toys they do have to look like they still have a lot and make them easy for them to get to. Putting all the focus on the toys that they do have will take it away from the toys that are gone.
My 5 year old will sometimes ask me where certain things have gone. I always tell him the truth! I say remember you never played with that toy so we gave it to “so and so”. Usually he will say “oh yeah I remember, and now we have this other toy to play with”.
There have been times where I have asked him if we can get rid of certain things and he will say no. That is ok! All I do is drop the subject and wait for a while.
When new gifts are going to come into the house I will ask again and say we need to make room for the new items. Usually that is when he will be ok with letting go. Even if only a few items are coming in the house I like to try to declutter more.
Especially when I was actively trying to downsize. I would get rid of 2 items for every one new item.
Stay Clutter Free
How are we staying clutter free? What keeps the clutter from coming right back? These are questions I get all of the time!
There are a few things I have done that help to keep us clutter free.
- Tell friends and family what you are doing
- If you have a party or holiday where there are gifts, be specific about what you want or say you don’t need anything.
- What if you get something you don’t need? I usually return it or I see if there is something that the new item can replace (one in one out policy). If I know I won’t use the item I will gift it to someone who can use the item.
- The one in one out policy. If I buy something or get something new I try to find an item that is similar and donate that item. One time someone asked if I get a pencil do I get rid of a shirt. I personally try to make the items an even switch. If I get a new shirt I donate an old shirt.
- I like to be super particular when shopping. Don’t shop unless you need something. I no longer walk around the store to see what I might need.
- Make a list. If I am thinking of something I might want, I will make a list. Then I will wait and if I don’t come back to the list then I don’t buy the item.
- Finally! The decluttering never ends. I am not going to lie. Items will constantly make it into your home and you will always have to do a little bit of decluttering. I call this the Seasonal Declutter. Every season change I go through my home (quickly) and see what we don’t need.
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