Letting Children Decide/Toy Rotation
In my last post, I admitted to sneaking a toy out of my daughter's room to put in the donation pile. I'm sure I've done that more than once over the years, but I really do try to let my kids have a say in what stays in/leaves their rooms. Here are a few tips for involving kids in the decision-making process of decluttering:
Get the Space Ready
Before you involve your children in the process, make the space a little less overwhelming. Help them out by throwing all trash and toys broken beyond repair away. Then make sure clothes are put away so that the focus is only on the toys.
I do not recommend going through this process with children 3 and under. I would just be cautious of throwing or giving away something that is very sentimental to them.
For children who are 4 and up, give them some say in the process. If they are having trouble letting go of toys, group similar toys together. Ask them, "Would you like to keep this OR this?" They may want to keep both but chances are they'll let go of at least one of the items if they are very similar. This still gives them some control during the process while encouraging them to let go.
This tip may be a little controversial but it definitely works for some kids. If they are not into the process you can give them money for each bag they fill or buy them one new game or puzzle for donating a certain number of bags. If you are selling the toys through consignment or by holding a garage sale, they could also keep the money from the toys sold.
You've been through all of the toys and you still feel overwhelmed by all of the stuff! Now what? Toy rotation! Toy rotation allows kids to keep the remaining toys but part of them are stored out of reach for weeks or months at a time. Put some toys in storage totes or bags and put them out of sight. When your children seem bored playing with the toys you've left in their room, swap those toys with the toys you've put away. They will get excited to have something "new' to play with.
Toy clutter is real! It can overtake a home and your sense of peace at home. Try some of these tips today to make your home a haven.