Ask Kids What They'd Like to Keep, Not Get Rid of, to Declutter

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Ask Kids What They'd Like to Keep, Not Get Rid of, to Declutter

Decluttering is hard enough without kids, but try to throw away your kids’ toys and it’s like pulling teeth. Mother and decluttering aficionado Emily R. has a simple tip for helping kids let go.

If your child is resistant to giving up any of their hard-won toys, try to reframe your approach:

One simple change that I made that has made a huge difference in how my kids handle decluttering is changing my wording. When I’d say, “What do you want to get rid of?” my kids would usually have a really hard time choosing anything to part with. Broken toys? Things they hadn’t played with in years? It didn’t matter. They wanted to keep everything they saw, and I get that. I have a hard time with that too because even the wording says, “You’re losing something.” and no one likes to have something taken away from them.

When I changed my words to, “What would you like to keep? What are your most favorite things?” my kids were suddenly able to get rid of a lot of stuff! Honestly, sometimes my inner hoarder struggled with their choices because I almost felt like they were getting rid of too much, but when we frame things in a positive light it’s a lot easier to evaluate our things based on what we really love and want to keep.

She also says you can help them understand that the less clutter they have, the easier it’ll be to clean their room. (Argument: won.) Check out her full post below for more tips.

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How to Declutter With Kids | I’m an Organizing Junkie

Photo by Iraia Martínez.

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De-Clutter With a Category Plan instead of Going Room by Room

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De-Clutter With a Category Plan instead of Going Room by Room

Typically, when most people are on a de-clutter mission, they start in one room. If that approach isn’t working for you, try to start with a category of stuff in your house or apartment.

Over at Farnam Street, they reviewed The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. In the book, Kondo explains how we get distracted while cleaning up. We find the”hard” category to deal with and get stuck. She explains why a category approach prevents this problem:

People who get stuck halfway usually do so because they start with the things that are hardest to make decisions about. Things that bring back memories,

such as photos, are not the place for beginners to start. Not only is the sheer volume of items in this category usually greater than that of any other, but it is also far harder to make a decision about whether or not to keep them.

Start with a category without a big emotional attachment (she suggests clothes). Go room by room and focus on getting rid of extra clothes. Focus your clean-up on categories you’ll make easy decisions about. If you come across another category of stuff like pictures, put them aside and save it for another time.

The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing | Farnam Street

Photo by Unnar Ýmir Björnsson.

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