Decluttering Kids' Items {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Decluttering Kids' Items {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018}

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Decluttering Kids' Items {NetZero Decluttering Challenge 2018}

Do you feel overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? It makes it hard to enjoy this festive time of year.

I've found that when I declutter throughout the month it really helps me feel less overwhelmed.  Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge this year?

I'm so impressed with stories of what you've been decluttering already this month! Let's keep it going this week.

Today I'm sharing tips for decluttering your kids' items!

A reminder or quick summary if you're new: each week I'm sharing decluttering tips to help you declutter a different area of your home.  You don't have to declutter those specific items though... you can declutter anything you want to! If you do that all month, you can end December with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with! You can read more details about the challenge and get a free printable tracking sheet here.

This Week's Decluttering Focus - Kids' Items

Note: if you don't have kids, the following tips still apply... you can declutter your clothing, books, games, etc. as well as items related to your hobbies and activities.  If you have grown kids who still have some of their things in your home, you can gather their items together and give them back to them when you see them over the holidays. Or perhaps find a way to display a few of their sentimental items and then give them back as a gift that they can proudly display in their home rather than having it stored in your basement {check out the Decluttering Sentimental Items series for ideas!}.

Kids stuff.  There's just so much of it. I hear over and over from my clients, friends, and family, that it feels like the volume of items in our homes increases exponentially when we have kids!

Well you're not imagining it. Here's why there's so much kids' stuff:

  • They grow quickly so there's a constant influx of clothing and shoes
  • Their abilities and interests change over time so there are always toys, books, games and activities they've outgrown or lost interest in
  • They keep receiving endless gifts for birthdays and holidays, long after adults decide to stop giving gifts to each other
  • And don't even get me started on all the little toys and treats that enter our homes from loot bags, fast-food dinners, behaving at school, etc.

The flow of kids' items into our homes is constant. And if we don't want cluttered homes, we have to be very diligent in keeping the flow of items out just as constant!

The good news is, there's all that stuff they've outgrown or lost interest in that you can declutter :)

Here are a few tips:

  • Go through your kids' closets and dressers and let go of anything that is too small (or will be too small by the next season for off-season clothes). Also remove clothing that they never wear (everyone has their favourites that barely make it out of the laundry before being worn again so let go of some of the items that never make it out of their drawers).  Make room in those drawers and on those hangers for the new clothes that they will receive as gifts later this month. 
  • Go through your kids' toys, games, books and activities and declutter anything that they've outgrown or that hasn't been used for a long time. I recommend including your kids in this process (even though it may take longer).  It's the perfect time of year to do it because you can explain that since they will be receiving new things to play with later this month, they need to make room by giving away some of the things they don't play with any more.  That means something to kids and makes it easier to let go.  Also, if you have items that are in really good condition kids are more willing to let go if you explain that they can donate to them to charities that will give them to kids who may not receive as many gifts this year. {New toys can go to toy drives, gently used toys can be given to family shelters.}

You know most of the items entering your home this year are going to be for or related to your kids. So if you want to end the month at net zero clutter, taking some time to declutter your kids' items this week will really help!

Decluttering My Holiday Items (last week's focus)

I haven't actually decluttered any holiday items yet this year because I decluttered so much last year. So right now everything I've taken out of my Christmas bins is stuff I love and use.

And I've been using up a lot of Christmas items without replacing them over the last few years (wrap, bags, tags, cards, paper napkins, etc.), so that has reduced all the excess I used to have.

We have a new kitten this year...well she's 7 months old now so she's almost full-sized, but she's still very playful and curious! As a result of her curiosity and playfulness, we are changing our decorating traditions a bit this year. Rather than decorating all at once, I've slowly been introducing Christmas items into our home, so I can keep an eye on her with each added decoration and try to keep her from knocking things over, playing with things that are not toys, etc.

We have most things out now... except our tree. That usually goes up and is decorated by the beginning of December, but I KNOW I'm not going to be able to keep Allie away from it all the time, and I will drive myself crazy dealing with her and the tree for a whole month. So the plan at this point is to wait until closer to Christmas, put the tree up for a few days before decorating it, and then decorate in stages, from the top down. And we will probably leave some of the more fragile ornaments off this year... just in case :)

So, all that to say, as of now I haven't decluttered any Christmas items, but I may find some when we decorate the tree later this month.

Decluttering Kids' Items and Other Decluttering

My kids both went through their rooms quite thoroughly in October because we had a donation drive called "Repurpose" at our church. They decluttered several bags and boxes of games, toys, puzzles, and books. And around the same time we also decluttered their clothing, with the change from summer to winter clothing.

So... even though I usually get them to declutter a lot in December, there's really no need this year.

Instead, I decluttered a few random things this week:

  • 5 winter jackets/coats to a coat drive at our church
  • 1 headset that wasn't working any more
  • 1 kids' tattoo
  • 1 piece of a toy I found (the rest of the toy is long gone)

  • 5 books (1 dictionary, 1 thesaurus, 1 English writing handbook, and 2 French-English dictionaries)
  • 1 pen
  • 1 reusable water bottle

I'm updating a few areas of our home before having guests here for various Christmas celebrations, so I've been buying some new things, but nearly everything has been a one-in-one-out situation... door handles for bedrooms and bathrooms, drawer pulls and door knobs for kitchen drawers and cabinets, light switch plates, etc.

And I actually had to buy a few specific sized gift bags, some tissue paper, and a couple packs of gift tags, because I've used up so many of those things the last few years. I'm not counting them as items in though, because they are just going right back out the door in a few weeks with our gifts.

My Progress in the #NetZeroClutter challenge

So far so good for my decluttering in the NetZeroClutter challenge!
Only 4 items have entered our home so far this month and I've decluttered 15 items so far. So that puts me at -11 items this week in the #NetZeroClutter challenge and overall.  Off to a good start :)

What's Next For You?

Take some time this week to declutter your kids' items. Or anything you'd like to declutter!  Take some pictures and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #NetZeroClutter.  Let me know how you're doing in the challenge so I can cheer you on!

Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each week's post in your email inbox.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email.

I'd also love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's this week's post in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm enjoying doing this challenge again and I'm excited to have you join me.  I love hearing all the stories of how much more you're looking forward to the holidays because you're not as overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

How many kids' items did you declutter this week?  How many holiday items did you declutter last week?  What else have you been decluttering? How are your overall in / out numbers?

Happy organizing decluttering!

Click here for all the previous posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!