If you have kids, you probably struggle with keeping their toys neat and well organized. Toys, puzzles, games, books, and the like seem to multiply and scatter on an almost daily basis, and after special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, the situation becomes even worse with a major influx of new toys.
To help you win the battle against the clutter, our real estate agents suggest these 7 ways to teach your kids how to declutter.
- Start by Purging Broken and Unused Toys
Your kids have likely accumulated broken toys that are still taking up space, as well as those that are missing parts or have stopped working. Start by tossing these out, and then move on to toys your kids no longer play with but are still in good shape. These can be donated to a non-profit organization, sold online on a site like eBay, or given to friends.
- Group Toys Together With Like Items
When you've decided what items to keep, sort them, so you have like items with like items. For example, you'll want all the building blocks together, all books together, etc. As you and your kids gather and sort, let them take another look to see if they want to purge any more items. After they see how many board games they have, for example, they may decide there are a few that they don't play with any longer or have outgrown.
- Storage Bins
Use storage bins to store like toys together, putting just one type of toy in each bin. Make them easy for your kids to access, and label them with the category of toy that's inside. For pre-readers, you can put a picture instead of words on the label. This way, kids can easily see where to find a particular toy as well as where to put it away when they're done playing with it.
- Establish a Cleanup Routine
Make it part of your kids' daily routine to put away their toys before bedtime. It's often easier if each child is in charge of several categories of toys, and they work together to get the job done. Otherwise, one day's clutter will spill over into the next, and you'll soon have an explosion of toys lying around.
- Keep the Number of Toys Under Control
Once you have everything organized, avoid the issue of new toys coming into your home but nothing going out. Continue to purge toys once every six months or so, with an additional big push before birthdays and other gift-giving holidays.
- Model the Same Behavior
Show your kids that you follow many of the same steps when decluttering your own items. You're setting a good example if, for example, purging your own items regularly to get rid of what's broken or what you don't use.
- Give the Family a Reward
After a major cleanup, give the kids a reward after they're done. Let your kids have a say in the reward so they'll be more excited about helping.
Contact us at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson to see Spokane homes for sale, whether you're looking for a home with plenty of room for kids (and their toys!) or you're ready to downsize.