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7 Simple Steps To Clean Out Your Kid’s Closet (And Toys)

    School’s out, but not for long which means soon we’ll have to organize ourselves for the upcoming year.
    One way we prepare is a good ole closet cleanse.

    Though I’d never involve M + GL in my own closet cleanse (way too boring watching Mom try on all her old stuff), I do ask for their help in dealing with theirs. Yes, it’s a bit of a chore – a bit more labor intensive than putting away their clean laundry, yet way easier (and even more fun) than an hour of homework. The key to keeping them engaged? Move quickly.

    Here’s how to clear out space in your kid’s closet and toy areas:

    1. Pick a drawer. Pull everything out.

    2. Go through each item asking your kids if they want to keep or get rid of. Anything that’s a keep, hold it up to see if it still fits. (Depending on M & G’s mood, I may be able to actually have them try it on.) If it still fits and they like it, fold it up, and put it back in the drawer. If it’s too small, or they’ve said they don’t want it anymore, place it in the bag to give away.

    3. Repeat until you’ve gone through all the clothes and drawers.

    *A word on stained children’s clothing. It’s not the same thing as stains on your clothing. If I got rid of every stained item in their drawers, they’d probably have nothing left. Especially M. His soccer jerseys are beyond dirty. I have to choose my battles…this is not one of them. Oh, I’ll also add – that though I allow my kids to walk around in stained shirts, I don’t pass them onto others. Those pieces get tossed into the clothing recycling bin downstairs.

    4. Choose a toy area to tackle.

    5. Pull everything out. (This is the part M & G love, seeing their toys strewn allover)

    6. Go through each toy. Ask them if they want to keep or get rid of. Sometimes, they’ll be straight up with me, and say they’re ready to get rid of something, other times not so much. This is when Mom makes the final call. If it’s a junky plastic thing, I’m quick to get rid of it. If it’s something they’ve clearly outgrown, like a train set, and it’s still in excellent condition – I’ll put aside for somebody else. If the toy is kind of trashed, I’ll throw it away. I do let them keep things I know they’ll play with. And surprisingly, I find myself attached to some of their stuff, and am not quite ready to let go.

    7. Repeat through all the toy areas…maybe not in the same day.

    Though this method may not work on super young kids, I’ve been involving M & G in these toy and clothing cleanses for years. It’s actually a great activity on a boring summer day…they get really entertained by all of their old things (that you’re about to throw away.)

    How do you handle the accumulation of old clothing and toys?

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    7 thoughts on “7 Simple Steps To Clean Out Your Kid’s Closet (And Toys)”

    1. Coming from a family of pathological hoarders, it’s so refreshing to see a mom encouraging this kind of healthy letting-go behavior in her children. I like how you broke the process down in steps–it makes it so much more doable, much less overwhelming. Since my kids are small I have been doing this kind of decluttering and organizing on my own, but now that she’s 5, I think I can include my daughter. I’ve been pretty great about sorting through my own clothing, shoes and general household items. I’m the worst with my books and arts and craft supplies. Anything that might be useful for an art or a craft project gets kept, which means there are lots of little bits of things. And getting rid of a book seems like sacrilege–at least a book that love, even if it has been a while since I read it. I try to keep the books and art supplies very tidy and organized though, which makes a big difference. Do you have any soft spots in your clutter clearing heart? ????

    2. Love the practical life xamples, Elysha. They are useful, personable, and educational.

      In our household, old stuff disappears. My wife has regular appointments with the local charities. But I like your way of getting the kids invovled. Good way to learn organizing skills

    3. Lorien, I hold onto paper. I always think I can use it as scrap paper or something, and then the next thing you know I’ve got piles of scrap paper that are 12″ high! It gets a little out of hand. I know what you mean about not wanting to get rid of books…I’m like that with my books. But the kids books, I do try to pass on. We don’t need all those baby board books anymore. I’ll confess though — there are certain baby books that I (not my kids) loved so much that I’ll keep. It reminds me of when they were teeny. Oh also, we’ve still got one of those wood driving toys that my son got when he was 2. Believe it or not, he still rolls around on it sometimes.
      x x Thank You
      PS: I love your phrase, clutter clearing heart!

    4. Regular appointments with local charities…that’s an excellent way to keep the stuff moving along. Thanks, Terry!

    5. Yep, that’s exactly what I do! I also encourage them to put clothes they’ve grown out of in a bag so I can pass it on.

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