We Have So Much Stuff! (& Tips To Get Kids Organized)

Tips To Get Kids Organized

We have too much stuff.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  

People come to visit me and I have to excavate a chair for them to sit down in.  I wish I was exaggerating.

I don’t have more than 2 people over at a time unless we can be outside.  (Okay, I’ve had a few “parties” inside when the weather doesn’t cooperate, but it’s not my favourite thing to do.  In fact, you can read about that here.)

So, my new passion is throwing stuff out.  Or giving it away to others who will use it.  I would say I try to sell my old/no longer relevant to us stuff, but it often seems like no one else is interested in my crap either.  I had a yard sale this summer and still had a full truckload of stuff to take the our local donation centre.

The best place, for me, to start culling things from is the girls “stuff” corner.

They have a whole wall unit full of “stuff.”  You know, half coloured in colouring books, 1000 crayons, markers, pens, and pencils, and every other craft-type thing they’ve ever been given.  Oh, by the way, that’s 1000 EACH of crayons, markers, pens, and pencils.  And then there are the few pencil crayons, pastels, paints, paintbrushes, glue sticks, piles of construction paper, scrapbooking stuff (that they’ve never even opened), kids needlepoint sets, clay, other packages of generic “craft supplies” and a big thing of scissors that each cut paper with a different pattern on the blades.

Get Kids Organized

Have they ever used this stuff?  A lot of it – NO.  So why do we have it?  Because my kids don’t understand that space is at a premium.  This wall of “stuff” is in my living room/dining room area.  (Yes, that is my dining room table in the lower right corner.  I only have one living space that isn’t kitchen or bedroom – the joys of a weirdly laid out home.)

I ask them to go through their stuff, so they find one colouring book and 3 broken crayons and tell me it’s okay if I get rid of those.  While that’s lovely, that is NOT helping our home be more tidy!

 

Tips To Get Kids Organized

My children are going to visit grandma and grandpa the week before school starts up again.  Patrick and I will be working, as usual, but this leaves our evenings free.  Guess what I’m going to be doing??

You got it – getting rid of crap!

I told Emma that if I think it’s garbage (and now I’m talking about her bedroom), that’s where it’s going.  I’m pretty sure there are items that have been on her floor for months, if not years, that are just waiting to be loving placed in the trash bin.  So that’s where I’m starting.

I’ve been thinking about this purge tidy for a little while now and I have some ideas of how I can keep the kids on my tidy train.

Tips to help get kids organized:

Start with a clean slate.  If this means you need to get in there and do a first purge/clean out, do it!  I know it’s not ideal – kids need to learn responsibility for their own stuff and all that, but at this point I need to just get in there and sort/toss/put away/realign/alphabetize (okay, now I’m just getting carried away!) everything in the bedrooms.  Then we’ll develop a system – hopefully.

Use less organization items.  I know that sounds backwards, but it’s what is saving me right now.  If there are less bins to just toss things into, you have to work a lot harder at finding a home for whatever it is.  If it doesn’t have a home, do you really need it?

Once you get to the level of tidiness you’d like to maintain, create a schedule for everyone.  Whether it’s so many minutes a day, or so often in a week, find something that works for your family, and stick with it.  The minute you stop working towards the tidy goal is the minute the universe returns to chaos!

And reward the kids.  If they’ve gone above and beyond (gotten rid of a ton of toys, sorted through all their shelves of books, or actually spent hours working alongside you in your efforts) reward them for their hard work.  I’m not saying pay them – just be sure to praise their effort, make them a dinner they actually like, or just put on a favourite movie when you’re through for the day.  But be sure they understand that this reward is because of all their hard work.  Maybe they’ll be more likely to help you out again with little to no fuss!

Tips To Get Kids Organized
This is the other end of my “living space.” The dining room table is just to the left of this photo. And yes, that’s the chair I need to excavate when people come to visit. It’s not at full crap-acity in this photo.

Do you have any tricks you use to get kids organized?  Or to keep them organized?  I know sometimes we’ll get motivated to tidy up, but then there’s no follow through.  Maybe that’s just because I’m lazy.  And I am lazy.  But now that the girls are older we should be able to keep things more neat (and more minimal) than when the house was full of baby toys!  

Share your tips in the comments – I need as much help as I can get!

~Jess 

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. I find it a never ending battle, I get fed up of asking the girls to tidy their room and then end up doing it myself, only to find it a mess five minutes later. My living room is also a place where we keep toys and books for the kids, I’m not one of those mum’s that makes them put them upstairs every time, but sometimes I wish I was. I just keep thinking, a few more years and they won’t really need toys anyway and i can have my space back!
    #MMBC

  2. I don’t know how kids collate so much stuff! You make a fab point about how all those baskets we use to ‘organise’ things just end up a random jumble. Will definitely be re-thinking this. Great post! #ALittleBitOfEverything

    1. It’s so true. That’s what I’m doing today – emptying bins and plastic drawers. SO MUCH STUFF!! (And a lot of it is garbage – why do they hang on to every broken thing??)
      ~Jess

  3. I hear you Jess! I am constantly picking up after the boys. It’s like following a tornado. I even made one our rooms into a play room and the toys still spill out of there into the other rooms.

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. Have a lovely weekend! Hope to see you Monday x

  4. Ahh! Good luck! When the kids go back to school I am having a clear out. They have so much crap. If they’re not here to see me throwing it out they’ll probably not even notice it’s gone. lol #MMBC

  5. I hope your decluttering is going well. It’s hard to keep on top of it. Especially as they are always creating various bits of artwork and there’s no where to put it!! We did a big declutter which really helped, we are ready for round two!! Good luck
    Thanks for sharing and linking up with us #FabFridayPost

    1. My summer declutter did work out well – the girls are working on keeping their rooms more tidy, and thinking about what they really “want” vs “need”. Will it have a home when we get home? If not, maybe we don’t need to get it…
      ~Jess

  6. OMG! We are going through the same thing. Ethan’s room is a total mess and I’ve tried to keep our living room as tidy as possible by tiding up the night before, but by the end of the next day – it is just an absolute tip again! Sigh… I am really exhausted actually. Your tips are great. I will to follow you closely from now on! 🙂 Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

    1. The tidying never ends – even after getting rid of stuff, I’m still overwhelmed with the chaos of everything. If we had more time at home it MAY work out better, but this term we’re never home together. Post coming about that soon! 😉
      ~Jess

  7. I think living with less is awesome, but I am first to admit that with kids it can seem impossible, they just accumulate so much, craft is one of the worst, they seem to get it in truck loads as birthday and Christmas gifts from friends. I also find stuffed toys hard as mine get very emotionally attached to them so it is really hard for them to donate them. Moving house helps as we are forced to sort crap out, but we can’t do that once every 6 months lol. One thing that helps is when I do a big clean of my wardrobe it seems to inspire them to want to clean out as well. Although my son decided he didn’t need his ‘good pants’ and wanted to get rid of them! Thanks for joining #mg and keep us updated with your progress!

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