December 3, 2016

10 Tips to Conquer Kid Clutter in the New Year

10 Tips to Conquer Kid Clutter
By Kerrie McLoughlin
843 words

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I get exhausted just thinking about how much clutter kids are born with: clothes, shoes, diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, stuffed animals, paperwork and on and on. And it only gets worse as they grow up and start to participate in activities outside the home (think ballet shoes, softball equipment, Scout projects, homework papers and such). Sure, you can tell your kid to clean his room, but chances are he has too much and won’t even know where to start. Why not give a few of these tips a try to help your household recover from clutter?

1.      Start by overhauling what your kids already have for about an hour a day so you don’t get overwhelmed (toys, stuffed animals, shoes, clothes, books, videos). Separate items into two or three piles or bags: throw away, give away (or sell at a consignment store or in a garage sale), and (if applicable) save for a future kid. Then group like items (e.g., shoes, leotards, sports equipment) so you can quickly figure out what you are missing or have too much of. A friend of mine with 4 boys says, “I found that my kids’ dressers were overflowing with clothes, much of it never worn. I went through them and … only kept a few pairs of shorts and pants and their 5 favorite shirts. It has made it much easier for them to get dressed in the morning because without all the clothes they weren’t wearing packed in there, they can choose their outfits quickly.”
2.      Notify family and friends that you are trying to reduce clutter. Grandma would probably be thrilled to get the kids a membership to the local zoo, while several people could pool money to pay for quite a few of your daughter’s ballet lessons. This is also a great way to teach your kids that birthdays and the December holidays are not just about what your kid can get out of the whole deal.

Kerrie McLoughlin is the homeschooling mom of 5 and you can catch up with her at

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