By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
If you have young kids or grandkids there’s probably nothing more beautiful than to watch them immersed in play. That’s how they learn, that’s how they develop and grow.
I would like you to keep those beautiful moments in mind as I share a few ideas with you about how to reduce the clutter kids can cause.
It’s only natural to talk about how frustrating it is when it seems that your house is being overtaken by kids’ clutter whether it be toys, books, art supplies, or clothing. But for the moment, I’m asking you to stand back and see what you can do about it, how you can solve it, rather than complaining about it and getting upset.
If you have children or grandchildren around, likely your home will not be perfect.
The goal should be to create an organized space where your kids or grandkids can enjoy playing, reading, and creating, but they also know where their things belong so they can put them away to enjoy again at another time.
- If we expect that process to be perfect, we’re missing the point.
- If we relax and let them enjoy playing, we have accomplished the first big step.
Remove any toys that are broken, dirty, never played with, or that they’ve outgrown. Having fewer toys, books, games, and puzzles, they will be able to focus more on the ones they have in front of them and can enjoy them more.
Children grow so fast and their interests can change almost overnight.
- It’s important to watch what they use and don’t use, like and don’t like so that you can edit the ones that are no longer played with.
This helps to keep clutter to a minimum while leading them to focus on what they are enjoying.
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Likely there are several areas in your home where they like to play (i.e., family room, their bedroom or your office.)
- Identify the space within that room.
- Keep it contained.
- Set them up to succeed.
A simple bookcase, cabinet, or shelving with a few bins and baskets will help identify a proper home for each of the toys, books, puzzles, craft items. When they each have a home, when they are easy to see and easy to access, they will realize everything has a place.
Your home will look neater and organized and your kids or grandkids we’re not only know where the toys and books are when they want them, but they will also know where they are to be returned when they’re finished playing with them.
These simple organizational tools will teach them how to clean up after themselves.
Just remember: It might be a little more difficult to remain decluttered when you have kids, but it is definitely possible.
It’s up to us to set them up to succeed so they cannot only enjoy playtime, but you will enjoy watching them play even more!
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