There is no question that kids have got too much stuff these days. Their rooms (and your house) are likely overflowing with children’s toys, stuffed animals, books and other things that children manage to accumulate. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on all the stuff, the following four tips are just what you need.
1. Sort and organize
It’s difficult to see what your children actually have when everything is scattered around. If you haven’t already, invest in toy boxes. A large one works well for storing the larger toys, but for small items such as doll clothes, balls, small cars, Legos etc., you can use shoe boxes. This is a great way for your children to learn to be organized. When things are in their rightful place, they will be much easier to find. Better yet, they won’t be scattered all over your house. Sorting toys will also give you a chance to see what is broken and should no longer be played with.
2. Pass things down
Children outgrow toys very quickly, but the toys seem to stick around for much longer. If there are a few sentimental toys that you’d like to save, do so, but save them in a safe place and not where they’ll be trampled on day after day. Make it a habit in your family to pass things on to younger families and women and children’s shelters. Don’t keep the baby toys around to take up space when your children are now in elementary school.
3. Swap toys
Chances are that even after you organize, donate, and throw out toys, your children will be left with a good supply of toys. Even though they have so many toys, you probably hear the words “I’m bored,” too often. The reason children get bored so easily is because they see the same toys day after day. If you take away a bunch of their toys and box them up for a few months, your children probably won’t even notice they are gone. But when you swap them out after those few months, you can be sure they will have your children’s interest again. You may have to do the toy swapping when your children aren’t around because if they see you packing things up you’ll face a fight.
4. Stop overindulging
You can’t always control what other people give to your children, but you can control how much you give your children. If you give them everything they ask for when they ask for it, there is no question they will accumulate too much too fast. Children appreciate things more when they have to earn them. Constantly buying new things for your children won’t secure their happiness or cure their boredom. Your children can be perfectly content when they receive less. They’ll begin to appreciate what they do have more.
Once you start organizing and letting go of things, the whole process become much easier. Your children will benefit from the process as well.