It's that time of year! The kids' toys are taking over the house and Christmas isn't even here yet. You're not sure what to do with the toys your children have now, much less the abundance of toys they'll receive over the next few weeks. Over the last month, I have had the joy of working with children to help them let go of some of the toys they weren't playing with in order to make room for new toys. Here are a few tips to help make the process easier:
White Garbage Bag/Black Garbage Bag Toss
Grab one white and one black garbage bag. During every organizing session, I use these to distinguish between trash and donations. White garbage bags are for trash only. Black garbage bags are for donations only. This makes for less confusion when it comes to getting the bags from your home to the appropriate new home or recycling center.
Give your children a white trash bag. Challenge them to find at least twenty pieces of trash (snack and candy wrappers, broken toys, empty shoeboxes, old school papers, empty bottles, fast food or "prize" toys, etc.). This should be a fairly quick task and will motivate them to move onto the harder task of deciding on which toys to donate.
Now give them the black bag and encourage them to find at least 20 items to donate. Yes, the bag is black/opaque for a reason. lol It's easier to let the toy go if it's not staring them in the face once they've made a decision. (Why didn't I use a black garbage bag for the large, hideous, stuffed pig with wings I bought for my daughter? That was one item that made its way back into the house and it will probably stay here forever! Actually, it was probably one of those toys I tried to sneak out of the house instead of letting her decide. Guilty!)
Get It Out!
Once they've finished decluttering, even if the bags are not quite full, dispose of the white bag right away while putting the black bag in the car to be donated at your convenience. Getting these bags out of your home quickly is key. If you are hesitant about putting half-full bags away, move to another area of your home and complete the 20 item challenge again.
You'd be amazed at what a little decluttering will do for your children's rooms. They may play in their rooms even more since they have room to move and have less stuff competing for their attention. Try the challenge today and let me know how it went!