I hope you all had an awesome weekend. This weekend The Girl and I worked in her bedroom.
Eventually I’ll do a post on her whole room, but holy cow, it’s amazing how far she has come in the last year. I just went back and looked at the pictures of her bedroom before we started and it made me itch. And then wonder how in the world I let it get that bad. I really need to work on the guilt, because looking at the evidence of all of this is horrifying.
Decluttering With Kids
When we started trying to get a handle on all of the stuff, I knew I didn’t want the kids to come home one day to find that all of their belongings had disappeared. I didn’t think that would be good for many different reasons.
- I didn’t want them to lose the lesson of how to determine what they wanted to keep and what they did not need or use.
- I wanted them to do the work and have some ownership over the process.
- I also felt that if I swooped in, I’d both be “rescuing” them from the work and I worried there would be a resulting trust issue.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing it, but that was my thinking.
I didn’t do any research before we started, these were just my thoughts on the subject. I knew from my own experience that things needed to be sorted into keep, donate and recycle/trash. I gave both kids those guidelines and we got to work.
At first, they told me everything was a keep. So I gave them both space limitations and some instructions. “From this section here, you can keep everything that fits into this bucket.” I made sure the bucket was big enough that they felt like they got to keep a lot, but it was still a stretch.
At first they whined. Incessantly.
This is going to take forever.
But I play with it all.
I want it.
Over time, as we continued editing, they got better at it. But it took time. A lot of time.
The Girl is naturally more of a packrat. The Boy isn’t as bad. This weekend I realized how far she has come.
The Girl misplaced her iPod Shuffle (a gift from her grandparents). I’ve helped her find that sucker at least five times already. I issued a new APB for it. After getting zero responses, we tried to find it in her room. Our mission was a bust. It’s still missing.
But, in the process of looking for the iPod, we cleaned out the toy box in her room and another bucket. (My uncle built the toy box for me when I was three years old. It was pink and white, but my parents had it repainted when I was pregnant with The Boy. Now it is in The Girl’s room.)
We sorted everything into keep, donate, recycle and trash. You’ll be happy to know the least amount of stuff went to the trash. It really didn’t take long at all since she’s such a pro at the process now.
The toy box before:
The toy box after:
There are two containers with school related art work that we will need to go through later (one is the big folder and the other is the plastic bucket). The remaining items in there are a mini-refrigerator (a gift), a soccer backpack, and some ZuZu pets.
Then we went through this bucket:
All that remained after were three American Girl dolls, a pink tote and two purses (inside the tote).
We never did find the iPod shuffle. She ended up using my old iPod. But first, I wiped it clear of songs (my taste in music involves some colorful language), struggled with iTunes until I figured out how to reload the Nano with The Girl’s songs.
I’m really, really proud of her. And I told her as much.
How do you all approach decluttering with kids? Any suggestions?