Moms Taming Kids Clutter

Attempting to clear clutter with kids takes some mad negotiation skills.  I think it might take military, police-type negotiation skills when you have a kid that does NOT want to part even with a piece of paper she colored on two years ago at a restaurant.  I mean, who can keep up with a piece of small paper for that long? She can!! Things that were reinforced for me today, is that kids do not use logic, they are illogical on all levels because they do not have the life experiences, the brain capacity, whatever developmental word you want to insert here, it’s like having a conversation with a brick.

There were a lot of laughs (mostly from me), a lot of “because I just need to keep it” from her and standoffs (from both of us). I’m not one to throw it all away, because I have learned if they wanted it bad enough they will keep asking for it and buy it as soon as they can again.  Sometimes it just isn’t worth the fight, but I have learned the art of negotiation. Yes, this momma went back to the drawing board, learned some new skills of experts and applied them in our home.  I not only upped my level of education and skill set but they will learn this as well and I will have to improve my skills all over again in a couple of years.

How do you declutter with a very opinionated, stubborn child? For me I ask a ton of questions, I really do try to see it from their view and openly communicate as much as possible.  After all, it is their space and to be completely honest, if I didn’t buy it in the first place it wouldn’t be in their room to clutter it up.  I do hold the responsibility to this madness in their little space, that overwhelms us all.  It’s time to backtrack and talk about how all this stuff makes us feel every day.  What we can do to lessen it, how would she organize the area and what would she like to do.  This is how I start our declutter in her area, you know the one who won’t even give up her piece of paper.  We have come up with new ways to organize the clutter in the girls’ room and not have to throw out a lot.  But then the holidays came, birthdays came and we are at “capacity” (is how I describe it) yet again and the holidays are coming around again.  This is a cycle I am currently breaking once and for all.  It’s difficult for me to ask her to keep her room clean when it looks cluttered and feels like things are literally everywhere.  She can pick up a bin and just put it somewhere as it’s home.  I feel we have a way too many bins and she doesn’t play with hardly any of the toys.  But mention you haven’t played with those Calico Critters all summer long I immediately get the response “but they are my favorite.”  I think at this point it is a comfort, a habit to see all of this in the room and we can’t part with it.

What’s a momma to do? This won’t be tackled or solved in one day. My solution today is to move out some of the bins of toys she has in there.  Put some of the stuffed animals she owns in a big plastic bin and since school is starting to move them out to my she shed.  One to see if she really will miss these items and ask me where did such and such go.  IF three months from now go by and she hasn’t missed them and she likes the feel of her room we will revisit decluttering again.

My goal is to decrease the amount of stuff we have. To decrease the amount of stress and overwhelm we feel with all this stuff around us.  To decrease the amount of stuff we bring into our home and instead fill our space up with memories of things we do together.  Our intention is to spend more money on vacations, trips, museums, and beaches.  Our kids do not need more stuff, they need interactions, love and family time.  Our intention is now shifted to create more of these moments instead of a momentary pleasure purchase.

Much love