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I'm so glad we've finished all the seasonal gear because the snow is here to stay! My kids have all the boots, coats, mittens, hats, and scarves that they should need this winter and if anyone loses an item I might lose my mind... okay, maybe not. But seriously... how do mittens attached to strings that run through their sweatshirts go missing? I simply don't get it.
If you are just joining us, here's the deal:
I still had this mindset of decluttering being a big ol’ chore up until a few months ago when I read this fantastic post from Nony at A Slob Comes Clean. It was like a huge light went off in my brain! Decluttering is simply the act of getting rid of what doesn't belong, isn't needed, or belongs in the trash. It doesn’t mean buying a whole slew of new bins for your things to go in or coming up with some type of system that you hope will change your life - that’s organizing. It’s a whole different ball game. Right now, I’m in the game of decluttering. I just want things GONE.
When there’s less stuff, especially less of what has no purpose in your home anymore, organizing can often happen naturally. You won’t be cramming thirty towels into the closet because you only need ten and they fit nicely. You don’t need to dig through a tub of medicines to find what you need only to keep coming across bottles that are long since expired.
Here’s my challenge: Each week, take on ONE area of your home. I’ve already made the list for you so that part is done. Go to the area, throw away trash, put items that you no longer need but are still in good condition into a donation box, and put other items where they belong. Simple!
Week 48: Kid's Toys
Ugh. The week that I (and probably many of you) have both been dreading and looking forward to all at the same time. I saved this job until later in the year because right before the holidays is the perfect time to do it. Go through and get rid of anything they don't play with anymore or bits and pieces of broken toys so when the new toys arrive on Christmas morning they aren't piled on top of the old ones!
Now, just like the kids rooms, it might not be a good idea to do this with your kids. You know them best and need to decide if they can handle this job. If they are okay parting with a stuffed animal they won as a prize at a school carnival two years ago without tears, awesome. If it becomes their new best friend even though it's been hiding under the book case for the last one and a half years and they can't believe you didn't understand how special it was to them then you might want to go at this solo. You could also approach this as an opportunity to find toys to donate to those that wouldn't otherwise have toys. Hopefully they are willing to part with something that is actually decent and not an action figure's broken arm.
I went at this gig solo. I know my kids and they are far too attached to most of their things. We do keep a box for donations that they put things in on occasion but the real deep decluttering is my job.
First, I gathered ALL the toys I wanted to sort through. These are all the toys that rotate through the little boys' room and the living room. Right now it's made up of Primo, Quatro, Duplo, Mr Potato Heads, fake food, Transformers, and what we refer to in our house as "random toys."
Because the twins are getting older and are starting to build their own LEGO collection we decided to put away the Primo and Quatro blocks. They are one of the very few toys we will be saving for future grandkids. And yes, we've planned that far ahead and it seems crazy.
After several injuries and many of the bodies breaking we decided to donate or trash the Mr. Potato Heads. It was not the easiest choice because the kids do enjoy playing with them but lots of the holes don't hold pieces anymore and we are trying to simplify our toy assortment. Less options means less boxes to store things in.
I got everything sorted into categories then I went through each category to decide what was worth keeping. I could have streamlined by tossing things out as I sorted (and I did toss a bit at that point) but the kids were checking in on me while I sorted in my room and I didn't want to freak them out with a huge toss pile ;)
This time we actually did buy an organizer for the project. Decluttering is all about getting rid of things but these bags and bins of toys were sitting on the floor and we were not making good use of our space. We found this organizer on sale at Target and we already had the pink bins - perfect! Now all the toys in the living room have a home.
We managed to get rid of a decent amount of toys and now the only ones around are useful and actually played with. We may need to do it again in a few months after the Christmas toys have settled in!
How do you stay on top of the toy chaos in your home?
Share a picture on social media with the hashtag #clutterbusterchallenge of what you found to declutter.
Come back next week for week 49 to sort through the junk drawer. Everyone has one. Even the cleanest person. It's that place where we stick all the junk we don't know what to do with in the moment! I've got cubbies in my kitchen above the built in desk that have become my junk drawer and they need attention!