Winterize Within, Part Four: Books

seussbooksPhoto by evelynshere

Wow! We have been working hard this week.  I think today would be a great day for a lightweight project.  Today, we’ll focus on Winterizing Within with our children’s books.

As we have each day this week, we will use the 3 Ps to structure our winterizing efforts:

1) Pause to find just a little time today to sort through the children’s literature in your home.  Thirty minutes or less seems right for today.

2) As you work through the books in your home, you may want to focus less on purging and more on pondering about where your child is on his path to literacy.  Do you have a new toddler who is ready for slightly more complicated stories?  Or is your preschooler ready for chapter books?  Would the upcoming holiday gift season be a good time to add new life to your home library?

Invite your older children to think about which books to keep, and which can be donated, sold, or tucked into storage.

3) We’ve been pushing ourselves quite a bit this week.  As you sit surrounded by the books that mean so much to your family today, take a moment to luxuriate in the joys, beauty, and timeless truths offered by literature.  You deserve a little downtime to read, reflect, and respond to whatever inspiration you find in the pages of your family’s books today!

What is the state of your home library? Is it up-to-date and organized? Are there books that need mending? Is your child ready to move up to more challenging books?

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.