Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Helping Your Child Declutter Toys Before Christmas

This is a great time of year to encourage your child to declutter his/her toys - before being inundated with more! Before a birthday is another good time to declutter. Even three- and four-year olds can grasp the concepts of outgrown toys, generosity, and order.

How to encourage your child to get rid of excess:

- Help your child envision giving toys to a younger friend or sibling, a disadvantaged child, your church or a charity.
One of our foster daughters kept picturing her clothes making a younger child happy, which motivated her to get rid of four bags of clothes!

- Be sensitive to your child's sentimental favorites, yet help him learn to discriminate between favorites and toys that have lost their appeal.

- If your child is having difficulty, make it a two-step process. One of our daughters agreed to putting a bag of stuffed animals in the attic. After several months, she was able to part with many of them.

- Determine ahead of time how much toy storage your child's room will allow or how much storage you will allow. These may be two different things! Just because a room has space, doesn't mean it needs to be jam-packed! When you're out of storage space, toys must be discarded or put away. (We put a way two-thirds of our girls' toys and swapped out toys three times a year.)

- Create limits - so many of one type of toy. If a new one comes in, an old one goes out.

- Discard broken toys or those that have missing pieces.

If your child declutters a couple of times a year, excess will be controlled, and her room will be manageable and pleasant.

Here are a couple of interesting places to send discarded items:

EcoEncore.org will take used hardback books, CDs, DVDs, software and games. These items are then resold with the profits going to environmental groups that help protect waterways, forests, shorelines, hiking trails and more. Be sure to take a look at their guidelines before sending anything.

Cottonfrombluetogreen.org - Donate old jeans and your denim will be recycled into insulation to be used for rebuilding areas struck by natural disasters. To start a denim drive, use the contact form on the website.

More help on organizing your child's room:
Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room - Creating a Fun and Functional Room for Your Child

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!
Organizing Legos - Or Not
Organizing "Messy" Toys