It is important to have a good clear out a couple of times a year when you child is quite young, maybe less when they get a bit older and stop growing out of things as quickly. I find using landmarks like Christmas and birthdays is really helpful to keep me on track.
As I have said before ( and will say again and again) the key to your kids room being tidy is not only to provide them with a space for everything but also to get them involved – get them to learn to tidy up as part of their daily ritual, even as part of playing so that it is ingrained and then it is normal and something they will do for themselves from a surprisingly early age.
That said, the big C is around the corner – yes Christmas is less than 60 days away as I write this…. This still gives you and your child plenty of time to get ready and make space. In this modern world space seems to be something we all crave and it really is quite easy to achieve even with kids and their stuff all around the house!
To make space in preparation of new toys arriving whether for Christmas or birthdays try these simple tips:
1- Have a big clear out
Be environmentally friendly in this – don’t just take everything to the dump. Pass on, regift, upcycle, reuse, repurpose and donate to charity. As you begin to pare down your child’s belongings have several boxes to sort the items you are clearing out into to. Your child needs to help you in this process, it will help them move on and appreciate their role in the world – “so and so’s little brother will love that”, “these should fit so and so”.
2- Move things around
Go through the toys you are keeping, if they have broken or have lost parts do you still want to keep them? You might find that the items you are keeping will fit into your existing storage in a better way so move things around and make the best use of drawers, boxes and shelves you already own.
3- Put everything you have away
A place for everything and everything in it’s place. This old adage really is helpful for kids and adults alike. Put everything you are keeping away in it’s own spot.
4- Make as much as possible accessible at child height
So that they can reach to get the items out and most importantly put them away again by themselves.
5- Let them keep what is important to them in a special “treasures” place.
My son keeps little things he’s found or made and kinder egg models together with shells, lego minifigures and gifts from party bags in an old printers box on his bedside table. Each item is special to him in some way and tells a story and they are easily accessible and collected together they create a great display. Having this helps keep a lid on the clutter.
6- Consider a new layout to give more storage
Try rearranging furniture or buying another bookshelf to give a bit of breathing space so that the toy collection can have space to grow into and still be tidy.
7- Try toy rotation
If there is no more space to be had for more furniture try putting some toys away in the attic or hallway closet and swapping them out in a few months’ time to keep them exciting and new to your child.
By applying these simple steps to your child’s space you should not feel overwhelmed by a sea of toys and kid-clutter on the run up to Christmas – and you should feel the benefits into the year as the new toys and gifts find their spaces in your child’s room.
For more on this subject try reading How to declutter your child’s room after Santa’s Visit