It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of our children’s stuff—the outgrown clothes, artwork, schoolwork, sports equipment, musical instruments, toys, rocks, sticks, party favors and all the other things they get their hands on that eventually end up in our homes. The first step is to get rid of what is no longer needed and simplify.
– Take Pictures: It is so much easier to give things away, particularly children’s artwork, when you take a picture of it. With a picture, you will always have the memory of the item and your child will know your honoring their creative process.
– Create a ‘things you want to give away box’: Sometimes it is difficult to know how meaningful something is to your child. Keep an opaque box and label it “things I want to give away” and keep the items inside. If your child doesn’t ask about it for a few months, then give it away. Just don’t let him see it because the second he does—he’ll want it back!
– Develop a system for outgrown items: Children are growing and changing all the time. Plan ahead for what you will do with outgrown items. Have a labeled plastic bin ready for clothes and toys you may want to pass on to a younger sibling or a relative’s or friend’s kids and have another bin or bag in the closet to donate to somewhere like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
– One thing in, one thing out: Once you have a simplified, clutter-free space you will want to keep it that way. Before you bring anything new into your child’s world, make sure it is worth it. You also may want to take one thing out each time you bring in something new—this way you will keep the space clean and clutter-free.
– Clear with intention: As you’re clearing and organizing, know that the more things you let go of the more space you are creating to truly be with your child.