Though I’d never involve M + GLÂ 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?