Now that the holidays are behind us, you’ve probably noticed that you have a lot of new stuff. If you have kids, the problem is compounded. Kids seem to receive endless amounts of toys and games during the end-of-year holidays. So, in addition to having all the usual holiday decorations and materials in your home, you also now have many new gifts. It adds up quick!
When the holiday clutter in your home starts mounting, our stress levels rise right along with it. Excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. Clutter works against us. It makes us feel anxious and enclosed, like we’re prisoners in our own space. You can do your family a service by clearing out your home, and sorting and organizing the decorations and new presents.
Here are some easy steps that you can take to de-clutter your home that the holidays are over. They’re geared towards playrooms and kids’ toys, but you can apply these principals to the rest of your home as well.
Start with an initial purge
The first thing you should do it make a quick sweep of your home and grab anything you’resure doesn’t belong. Holiday decorations should definitely be put away. Grab any toys you see that you know your kids haven’t played with in months.
Put your holiday stuff in storage containers in the attic. Label the bins so you will spend less time finding these items next year. Put the unwanted stuff aside for donating or sale. The trick is to go through your home quickly and make fast decisions. Grab only the things youobviously don’t want around.
Evaluate the rest one room at a time
Now pick a room and go through it item by item. Pull everything out of the closets, drawers and nooks. Consider each item carefully. Do you really need it? Do your children really need it? If it’s something that you or your family might need and wouldn’t want to repurchase, place in a container and label it with the contents. If it’s something you can never see yourself using again, add it to your donation or sale pile.
The trick is to not overwhelm yourself by starting too large of a project. Just do one room for now and pick the room that will give your most momentum (like the playroom).
Consider the purpose of each room
Evaluate the room and ask yourself, “What happens here?” Is it right that your kids have a chest of toys in your bedroom, or is that better suited somewhere else? Should art supplies make a permanent home in the guest room, or do they belong in a storage area in the kitchen or the playroom? Make sure each room’s purpose has the materials and furniture suited toward that activity.
Choose efficient organization
Now that your rooms are thoughtfully repurposed, it’s time to come up with some organization solutions to keep the clutter at bay. In order for children to be able to independently play and clean up their own toys, it’s important that the toys are accessible to the children and placed in containers with words and photos. If you still have too many toys, then place a few containers of toys in a closet and rotate monthly. Storage systems do matter and can greatly affect the learning and creativity of your children.
Guest Blog by Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder of Smart Playrooms
Smart Playrooms is owned and operated by teachers with many years of classroom experience and expertise. They bring the most effective classroom organization techniques and learning strategies into your home.
Smart Playrooms works to encourage kids to get back to the basics of play, using their creative side for art projects and imaginary play. Stressing that less is more, they help moms focus on the toys that will add to the experience. Some moms ask them to help organize their home, but Karri and Chris really like the idea of using their educational backgrounds to create custom designed playrooms. Plus, this gives them a niche in the market. Former teachers setting up your playroom – what could be better!
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