Mom to Mom: Keep, Donate, Store: How To Declutter With Your Kids

Does it feel like you’re drowning in your own clutter? Or maybe it’s not your clutter but possibly your children’s? We totally understand that, and now that summer is over, it’s time to reclaim your space!

Depending on the size of your home, your children’s items could be purposely stored away in a playroom or flooded in every possible room of the house, if you don’t have a designated space. You may think you need a playroom to feel organized, but if you follow a few tips and tricks every few months, you will eliminate a lot of the overall clutter that develops over time.

Get The Kids Involved 

In order for the kids to learn proper organizational skills, they have to be present to practice the concepts. Have a conversation with them ahead of time and explain what the task ahead will be. Have a reward waiting for them when they have helped out enough and let them take a well-earned break. The lessons we teach them now will become habits they carry into adulthood, so the more you have them practice rather than watch, the farther the lesson will reach. 

Apply The Marie Kondo Method

Now that you have their help, it’s time to make some tough choices. Using Marie Kondo’s method can make the choosing process easier on everyone. Have them empty their mess onto the floor. Have them take an item, one by one, and instead of having them ask, “Does this bring me joy?” have them ask themselves, “How often do I play with this?” 

Having them reflect on just how often they use the toy will help them part with things that don’t hold such an important value. You may want to help guide them through the conversation, depending on how old they are. Ask follow up questions until they’re okay with the final decision. Once they have decided to part with an object, have them thank it out loud and set it in a pile to be donated. 

Make Room For New Arrivals

With the holidays just around the corner, you can always use the angle that in order to create room for new items, such as toys and clothes, they need to part ways with current items. The idea that it might hinder their present count just may spark interest in making some room. Does your child have a birthday coming up? Use that as an example to make room for new items on their wish list. Every child has toys that are needing batteries, missing parts, or simply not age-appropriate. Helping them get rid of useless items will allow more room for the holiday season to bring things they truly want. 

Don’t Stop At Toys 

When was the last time you sorted through your child’s wardrobe? With the weather changing, now is the perfect time to go through those items and donate pieces that are too small or not appropriate for the season. Keeping those summer clothes around for next summer does no good because, for a child, it will be an entirely different size come next June. Holding onto clothing items can really cause additional clutter, so utilize these tips in the closet and watch more space appear. 

Start With The Cheap & Freebie Items 

Does your child like to collect toys from kids meals at fast food restaurants? Are you a victim of having to store useless piñata toys from past birthday parties your child attended? Honestly, there is no need to keep items that cost less than a dime to create. These items break easily and will get lost in the shuffle of all of the other options. Go for quality over quantity, and throw away the unnecessary.  

When you narrow down your toy choices to quality items, your child will be more inclined to actually sit down and play with their toys. When they are overwhelmed with options, it all becomes too much to sort through and they don’t organically gravitate towards playing with those items. Eliminate the headache by going through and getting rid of inexpensive and unnecessary toys first. 

Don’t Forget The Reward 

Now that you have eliminated the clutter, it’s time to reward them for their hard work and sacrifice. Getting rid of toys for any child can be difficult, so a reward eases the sting of the situation.  What we don’t want is for them to hold onto every item and take that mindset into adulthood. Living a clutter-free lifestyle can help with anxiety and stress, so it’s a good lesson to teach. With your guidance and a fun little reward, they will learn a great life lesson that they can apply to their own home later on in life.


We think decluttering with kids can teach them valuable lessons they can use in the future. Tell us what you think in the comments!

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