It's that time of year....time to clear out what the winter has brought in!
Personally I love decluttering, sorting and organizing all my items. Finding new pieces that I forgot about or sending out old pieces that no longer have purpose or meaning for me into the world for others to enjoy.
Kid's accumulate stuff, so much stuff. I am going to share with you a few tips to help declutter and create space in your baby or child's room.
Before we get started with our 5 steps, I want to take a moment to discuss the importance of a bedroom and it's purpose. Our children's bedroom are used exclusively for what the name suggests - a BEDroom. A bedrooms job is to provide a safe, quiet and dark space so that our children can have a good nights sleep. Good sleep leads to good health and want to keep our children in good health. Having a bedroom that is chaotic, cluttered and full can take away from their sleep and affect their overall health.
In our home, our children's bedrooms/nursery are quite empty. They have their bed and a dresser - that's it! My son shares a room with our youngest and he also has a desk and Fatboy lounge chair in his room so that if he needs a quiet space to complete homework he can do that. Other than that, there are no toys, piles of books or treasures lying around in their bedroom. They are allowed to keep a few books (usually less than 5) in their bedroom for reading before bed but aside from those, all of their toys, books and personal items are kept in our playroom (aka. living room). When they wake up in the morning they can leave their room and head into the playroom. When they are ready for bed at time they go into their room and head to sleep!
Do our children play in their bedrooms? Of course they do! They will often bring toys, books and other pieces into their bedroom to play games, build forts or just hang out, but at the end of the day the pieces all return to their home which is in another room.
Consider finding a way to create a minimalist and simple bedroom for your child to improve their sleep and overall health. It will also clear brain clutter at the end of the day for your child. Going to bed in a room that is full and potentially messy can create mental clutter (for both you and your child).
1) Get rid of all the stuff - toys, books, treasures, activity books, coloring books, etc.
Find a dedicated space in your home where these items would be better suited.
If you have lot's of space in your home you could also choose a designate play room. Toys, books and activities can all be returned to this space at the end of the day.
If you are tight for space I suggest hosting your child's activities, toys and books in your living space. Find some beautiful baskets or crates to store the toys and place the books on the shelf with your own. Having an integrated play space and living space gives our children and ourselves the opportunity to spend more time together. My husband and I can enjoy reading a book while watching our children play with toys together or we can all play a boardgame together as a family. We can each set up in our living space with an activity yet still be together.
We also allow one stuffie or doll in the room as a cuddle toy. Ask yourself or your child if they really needs 10 stuffies in their bed with them? Can they narrow it down to 1 or 2? Perhaps they can be changed every week if they have a strong attachment to many.
If you find you have too many toys and are finding this step challenging, check out our Blog Post: How to Minimize the Toys in your Home in 4 Easy Steps
2) Go through their closet and/or dresser.
First thing, pull out all the clothes from the dresser or closet. Also head into the laundry room, dryer and any other closets and find all the other clothes that are not in their room - there are always some hiding somewhere else.
You are going to create 4 piles: Keep, Giveaway, Store, Toss.
Look for clothes that are out of season - shorts in the winter, jackets in the summer. Pull those out of the pile straight away. Put these in the store pile for next year or the following season.
Next look for clothes that don't fit - whether they be too small or too big. Pull those out of your pile now too! These can go in the giveaway pile if you have no purpose for the too small pieces anymore or they can go in the store pile if you are going to keep these in storage for another child or another season.
Afterwards, look for clothes that need repair, are ripped or damage (ones that are not wearable anymore). Repair any pieces that need to be repaired (holes that need to be sewed). All pieces that are not able to be given away or repaired can go in the Toss pile. Remember many of your toss pile pieces can be used as rags, stuffing for pillows, or to create a rug. What ways can you repurpose those pieces? If you can't repurpose or know that you will never do that, don't leave them hanging around. Get rid of them!
Last, look through your pile and assess whether you want all these pieces in your child's wardrobe. If your child is old enough and you would like them to be part of this process by all means include them - but be aware that they will may hold attachment to many of the pieces. At this stage remove any pieces that you or your child no longer like or want to wear. They can be moved to the donation pile.
Place all keep items back in your drawers or closet.
Wondering what a capsule or minimalist spring/summer wardrobe might look like? Visit our Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe Blog Post for suggestions.
3) Give your dresser or closet a good wipe down with a natural cleaner (such as vinegar and water). Wash both inside as well as outside.
4) Give all bedding and curtains a good wash with a non toxic detergent and spot wash any dolls/stuffies/pillows or blankets that are not machine washable.
5) Wash windows, floors, light fixtures/fans, wall mounted pictures and mirrors!
The task will be quicker and less complicated with less items in the bedroom. Staying on top of the clutter in your child's room should be a daily. This will ensure that your Spring Clean is much more manageable and not as daunting. Ideally this task should take approximately 30-60 minutes if you are staying on top of the clutter in your child's room.
Remember too that almost all children (age 1+) can take part in some or most of the spring cleaning tasks with you. They can wash the furniture, mirrors and floors. They can also help bring the toys and books to their appropriate destination as well as organize those items in their new location. They can fold their clothes to put back.
Assigning tasks and chores to your children is going to help them learn strategies for taking care of their items as well as overall responsibility.
If you have any questions about this process or would like advice specific to your situation please feel free to comment below. We would love to hear your strategies for spring cleaning your child's bedroom.