Every year before Christmas we do a declutter. We go through all of the toys and find the ones the kids no longer play with, the ones they’ve outgrown and the ones that they no longer want in their bedrooms. We donate those toys, or sell them on the swap site, and make room for the hoards of things they’re going to get from us and family members, just days later.
What do I remove during the room declutter? I remove paper, trash, toys that have no home and random bits and extras, things they’ve outgrown, and things they no longer play with.
It’s the perfect opportunity to get rid of the clutter in the home, and something that this year, I learned a few things from:
Kids are (still) Hoarders
I knew this, but going through Violet’s room this week, I learned the extent of it. What’s this? I asked her. She explained to me that it was from a toy that she had last Christmas. I put it in the ‘toss’ bag and she lost her little mind. She still needs that, she said, even though the toy was nowhere to be found.
Decluttering is a Constant Process
There are very few things in the donate or sell on the swap site this year. In fact, there are less than a handful. The kids have fewer things because decluttering has been a process that we’ve been so diligent about, all through the year. Last January, when we got rid of half the things in our house (we could use another major declutter), it was like we could breathe easier, and that was reflected in the kids rooms deep clean that I just finished, as they had noticeably fewer items in there, and what they did have, the things that they play with constantly, were easily organized.
Skip the Trendy Toys
Olivia plays a lot with their Shopkins, I almost wish we would have skipped them and not started with that first initial blind bag. Shopkins are in our house, all over the place. They’re in random drawers, they’re in the kids rooms and they’re in our master bath, a big handful of them, every time I step into the shower. It’s the one trendy toy they collect, so it’s fine – but I feel like toy money is better spent saving for another set of Magformers, or adding to their collection of American Girl clothes and accessories, that they play with so often.
Is there something about hitting seven years old and feeling the need to keep every single paper you’ve ever written so much as a scribble on, in your bedroom? It’s amazing she loves to write, I love that – but the fact that I removed a good sized bag of scrap paper and ripped up paper from Olivia’s bedroom yesterday makes me crazy. For Christmas, I got her a wall organizer to house some of this paper – here’s hoping it helps to organize.
Keep plastic containers on hand | Keeping plastic containers on hand let me find the few things that didn’t really have a space, like the Num Noms Violet’s been collecting. This also works with baskets. Having an extra place where the kids can group ‘like’ toys together not only means they’re going to be able to find them easier, but that they’re going to play with them, too. My favourite containers are the 12″ scrapbook containers from Michaels, as they’re under five bucks and can hold quite a bit of ‘stuff’. They also stack nicely for kids to access, and are easy to open and close.
Did you do a major pre-holiday declutter this year? What did you notice?