Saturday, November 14, 2015

How to declutter your kids toys before Christmas

Now that we have your Christmas planning sorted, the lead up to Christmas is the perfect time to declutter toys!

Prefer to listen? Access the podcast here.

For your kids, it's a great time to clear the way for any new toys that arrive on Christmas Day, and for you it's a great way to clear some spaces in your home, making it easier to keep clean and tidy for when you have people over in the holiday season.

Plus, for me there's a sense of calm and contentment that comes with the act of clearing out toys that are broken or no longer played with. I often find whenever I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a good declutter session helps me feel much better!

So in case the same is true for you, I thought I'd show you how to declutter your kids' toys before Christmas! I have a really simple method that has worked well for years and can be done quickly and easily. If you have 15 minutes, you can make this work for you! 

Why 15 minutes? We talk about that more in my Less Mess, Less Stress.. and More Calm course, but basically it's the timeframe I use for any decluttering in my home. 

If you keep the timeframe short, you'll be more motivated and work faster to get more done before your timer goes off. You'll work on one small space at a time (e.g. one shelf, not one cupboard), and you won't fall into the trap of getting everything out and surrounding yourself with clutter, only to get tired or have to leave halfway through and have a bigger mess all around you. 

15 minute blocks mean you can tackle and finish one space at a time and feel accomplished and proud of your results! This will motivate you to do it again and again, and in time decluttering becomes a simple habit, not an overwhelming chore.

How to declutter your kids toys before Christmas

1. First, find some time to declutter without being interrupted. 

Yep - I recommend doing this alone - don't involve your kids in your declutter mission. 

You know why - every time you try to get rid of a toy they'll be devastated! They'll be sad, you'll feel guilty and nothing will get done. 

You are the parent - you know which toys are broken and you know which toys don't get played with. So find 15 minutes where the kids are busy, distracted or out of the house and get to work. 

2. Next, pick a small space to work on. 

A shelf, a toy box, a drawer. You choose, but choose just one small space for now

You're going to set the timer on your phone or microwave for 15 minutes and do as much as you can within that timeframe.

3. Keep it really simple when sorting. 

As you go through the space you have chosen, sort it into the following piles (or bags, or boxes):

  • broken & rubbish
  • 'missing pieces'
  • good condition and played with regularly
  • good condition and not played with in the last 6 months

4.  Now that you've sorted, you can action each pile.

  • Throw out the rubbish and broken items. Quick and easy!
  • Pack all 'missing pieces' together in one box or basket and add a note to it with a list of all the toys and games the pieces are from. Put this box up on higher shelf where you can reach it easily but the kids can't. As you come across the other pieces, you'll throw them in together and then sort out the basket in a couple of weeks - once you've done this method a few times and decluttered each toy space.
  • Put away the toys that are in good condition and are played with regularly. These are the keepers! 
  • Gather the toys that are in good condition and haven't been played with in the last 6 months and donate them. If you can't bring yourself to donate them because you are worried the kids will be heartbroken and beg for them back, just put them in a box you can't see through and seal it up. On the front of the box, stick a label with the date 6 months from now and then go put that box away in the garage or somewhere no one can see it. If the kids ask for one of those toys, tell them you aren't sure where it is and offer to look for it the next day if they remind you. If they don't remind you, don't mention it again. Repeat. Then the next time you see the box, check the date - if it has been 6 months and you haven't had to open the box, donate it without looking at what is inside - you don't need it.

Now it's your turn! Grab 15 minutes today or this week and declutter the toys from one area of your home. Then comment below or on my Facebook page and let me know how you go!

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Credits: This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links. The Less Mess, Less Stress.. and More Calm course is my own - find out more about it here.

* Linking up with Anne at Domesblissity

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