Are you trying to declutter your house but you have young kids and it feels like their stuff is taking over? It doesn’t have to be that way. You can guide your kids to declutter their belongings and teach them skills to maintain a simplified lifestyle.
Have your kids join you in the process of decluttering as early as possible
As soon as you can hold a short conversation with your child, you can start talking about decluttering. Before my oldest was 2, she would sit with me while I was decluttering our home and I would talk with her about what I was doing.
I would explain that we were looking for things that we didn’t use or need. She would help me sort items and I made sure she understood that we were giving things to people that needed them.
Now, years later, she will bring me things on her own that she is ready to pass on.
Keep decluttering projects short and simple
Whenever you declutter your kids’ belongings have them help. To keep your kids from getting bored or overwhelmed keep the sessions short and simple.
At my home, our toys are stationed around our house in center-like areas. This makes it easy to see when a specific category is getting too full. When that happens, I’ll clean the area and sort the toys on the floor. Then I’ll have my kids come in and return the items that they like best and that are in good condition.
In the beginning, I would prompt my girls by pointing out items that were broken, things they didn’t use, or show them multiples. Now my kids can easily spot this clutter on their own.
Explain to your kids where their stuff is going
I feel like kids are much more receptive to letting something go when they know where it is going. Luckily, I have friends with kids smaller than my girls so we have a place to pass the belongings they have outgrown. When my kids outgrow their clothes, they are always happy to pass them along to our family friends.
We also sell some items at consignment sales or donate them. I have always explained to my kids that this is a nice way we can pass our unused belongings on to a new kid who may need them.
Emphasize experiences instead of material possessions
Teach your kids early on that material possessions don’t lead to happiness. Instead of treating or rewarding your kids with toys or gifts, use experiences instead.
- Spend extra time at a playground
- Eat at their favorite place for lunch
- Go out for ice cream
- Read books together
- Have a family game night