Archives for October 2009

Winterize Within, Part Three: Games, Media, and Hobbies

gamePhoto by luis de bethancourt

How are your Winterizing Within projects going this week?

Today’s projects should be fairly easy to accomplish and are more focused on older children.  For part three of our Winterizing Within series, let’s tidy up the games, media equipment, and hobby parts and accessories that our children have accumulated.

We’ll use our 3 P’s to guide our time:

1) As we have each day this week, first pause to clear a spot in your schedule.  If you would like to have your children’s input on the project for today, schedule your winterizing work for a time that will work for all of you.

2) Set your timer and start to purge – tidy up the board games, straighten up any media you have in your home (music, movies, electronic games, etc), and if your children are involved in hobbies, provide some assistance in giving their hobby “stuff” a once-over to make sure everything is where it should be.

3) Finally, push yourself to determine if anything that has been straightened up today is ready to find a new home.  Are there movies no one has watched in months?  What about old games that are still in decent condition?  Invite children to consider selling that which is no longer being used.  The allure of a financial return may be great motivation for them to be able to say goodbye to some of the things taking up space in your home!

How is the decluttering process different as children get older? At what age do you start to have the child make more of the decisions on clutter and “stuff”?

Winterize Within, Part Two: Toys

toysPhoto by timsamoff

It’s time for Part Two of our Winterize Within focus for this week. Yesterday, we applied the 3 Ps (Pause, Purge, Push) to children’s clothing.  Today, let’s focus on toys.

When I shared 10 Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Kids last week at Simple Mom, many of you shared in the comments that your homes are already overrun with toys, and that the gift-giving season brings in more toys to an already crowded home.  Today is a great day to spend a little time determining what should stay and what should go before those holiday gifts are unwrapped!

1) Pause to make time today to work in a toy sorting session – thirty minutes, forty-five minutes, an hour, whatever fits today’s schedule.

2) Purge those toys!  If you don’t have much time to work with, limit your toy purging to getting rid of broken, non-donation-worthy toys.  If you have a little more time after you sort out toys headed for the trash, decide which toys could go into storage, which toys could be donated to friends, family, or charity, and which toys could be repurposed with a new life.

3) Most importantly for the purposes of winterizing, push forward with your decisions and get those toys moving!  Take the garbage bags to the trash, box up the ones to be stored, and prepare the ones for donation for their new homes.

As you purge the toys in your home, don’t forget the importance of separating yourself from your children’s stuff! Finding new homes for the toys your children have collected doesn’t mean you are discarding beloved memories; rather you are making space for the things your children truly cherish to be honored and enjoyed.

The process of toy purging is something I always intend to get to on a monthly basis, but sometimes my intentions fall by the wayside. Is regular toy sorting and purging a part of your regular schedule? Do you work better with input from your children or is this a task better done alone for you?

Winterize Within, Part One: Children’s Clothes

closetPhoto by Joe Shlabotnik

‘Tis the season for articles and instructions on how to winterize your home to prepare for the coming months of winter.  As parents with children at home, this is also the perfect time of year to winterize the inside of our homes, particularly when it comes to sorting through the “stuff” that goes along with having children.

This week at Simple Kids, we are going to focus a few minutes each day on winterizing the interiors of our home to make way for the months ahead. Let’s be inspired by the turning colors of the leaves falling from the trees which remind us that there is a season for all things.  It’s time to collect and make decisions on the things of last season as we make a place for the things of the season to come.

This will be our Winterizing Within schedule:

  • Monday – children’s clothes
  • Tuesday – toys
  • Wednesday – games, media equipment, miscellaneous play items
  • Thursday – books
  • Friday – photographs
  • Saturday – reflection time

We’ll use 3 Ps to guide our winterizing efforts:

  • Pause – find a place to push “pause” on your normal daily schedule and find a place to work on winterizing.  I would suggest aiming for thirty minutes to an hour of your time each day.
  • Purge – collect the items to be worked on that day and do a quick purge, identifying what is broken, stained, outgrown, worn out, and in general needs to have a decision made upon.
  • Push – find a way to push forward with forward momentum to follow through on the decisions you made for the items you have purged.  Bags of clothes to be donated?  Push them out the door to your vehicle and to a drop-off point?  Sacks of broken or unsellable/unworthy of donation toys?  Push them out the door to the garbage.  Unprinted photographs?  Push yourself to organize what you want printed and make a plan for following through having them printed.

Today’s category is children’s clothing:

1) Make time in your schedule (pause) to collect last season’s clothes for each of your children.

2) Purge clothes and create piles – to donate, to sell, to hang onto for hand-me-downs, and to repurpose.

3) Before the end of the day, push forward with the piles.  Donated clothes should be taken to donation points or make a place in your schedule this week to take care of this.  Hand-me-downs can be boxed and labeled.  Stained, ripped, or threadbare clothing can be taken to a crafting area for repurposing.  If you are going to sell outgrown clothes, make some space in your schedule to take pictures and post descriptions of the clothing.  Follow through on pushing these outgrown clothes out of your house and you’ll see a financial payoff when you have!

I’m setting my timer right now to start purging last season’s clothes for each my girls. I’m looking forward to a home that is prepared within for winter this year! I look forward to hearing your winterizing success stories today.