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12 Tips to Help Kids Declutter


1. Schedule it

Choose a time when they are not tired from school or other activities like a weekend afternoon.

2. Make it fun

Turn on some music they like and get them excited about improving their space.

3. Work on just one section at a time

Whether it be one drawer, toy bin or specific section of their room, choose one area to work on at a time so they do not get overwhelmed. As you finish each area they will be able to clearly see the progress. Pull everything out of that specific area to be sorted and give that drawer or bin a good vacuum or wipe down before returning the keep items.

4. Set out a few cardboard boxes with clear labels

  • Chuck Just get it out of their space. You can sort through which items are sell, donations, garbage on your own later.

  • Maybe If they are unsure about a few items allow them to think it over while you continue to tackle the rest. This can also be a good place to put items that you are suggesting they get rid of. Go back and make a decision together at the end of that session.

  • Goes Elsewhere Remove anything that doesn't belong in the room. Quickly throwing it in this box will allow you to stay focused on the task as you can put these things away later.

  • Keep

5. Set some limits

Their space is only so big and they only need so many things. Too much can just be overwhelming for kids. Set some clear limits, like, for artwork we're only keeping what can fit in this drawer or no more than 10 dinky cars, Barbies, et cetera.

6. Ask them questions

Ask them questions about their things, do they really play with this or are they actually going to use this again, is this worth the play space is it taking up.

7. Allow them to choose

Encourage them to choose how they want to arrange or organize their items that they are keeping. If they get to choose how or where things go they will probably care more about putting it back where it belongs and keeping it tidy.

8. Offer alternatives

Instead of keeping an item that they don't play with but want to remember suggest taking a photo.

9. See if they'll miss it/rotate

If you're really having a hard time, see if you can take some items out for the time being and see if they miss any of it. Set a date that you will decide then if those items should be reintroduced or parted with.

10. Talk about the rewards of living with less

Cleaner room, easier to find toys, more space to play.

11. Explain the value of donating to charity

Remind them how their unloved items would be of great value to those who are not as fortunate.

12. Create an incentive

This could be anything from a special treat, outing or maybe some new room decor or you could even offer them their share of the proceeds from an upcoming family yard sale. And remember to provide encouragement for small accomplishments along the way.

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