Help me sort out the DCs clutter!

(16 Posts)
tartiflette Mon 28-Dec-15 08:54:39

I am a ruthless declutterer of my own stuff (and DH's wink) but can't seem to make much progress with the kids' toys/books/general clutter.
How do you go about it - do you do it with them or sneak stuff into the charity shop pile/bin without telling them and just hope they don't notice?
Would it work to have a halfway house, like storing stuff in the eaves for a few months before getting rid altogether - just in case - or am I just adding an unnecessary extra layer to the process?
Can't work out whether I'm being uptight about it, or what is a 'normal' amount of stuff to hang onto/ have knocking around.
DTs are 6. They have a craft trolley (lovely ikea thing) in the kitchen/diner which has been a great solution for that category of stuff. It's everything else!
Particular bugbears are the drawers full of tiny inexplicable items, craft projects half done, models or drawings made at school months ago, random 'precious' sparkly shit.
Also clothes - things they haven't actually outgrown but have had for ages/look godawful and which I'd like rid of. What do you do?
I know that to some extent it just goes with the territory but I'd really like to streamline.
If you are on top of this stuff please inspire me!

MadauntofA Mon 28-Dec-15 13:04:02

Find a box each (not too big) tell them it is their special box, maybe get them to decorate it then pile all the random stuff on the floor - they can put whatever is special to them in their box - you don't get a say but everything else goes in the bin/ charity shop pile. They then have to decide what goes out of their box before they add something new.
Clothes I do by stealthwink

tartiflette Mon 28-Dec-15 13:12:45

Ok. I like the sound of The Box. Do you really get rid of EVERYTHING else? In which case I've definitely not been ruthless enough. It's funny, I'm so good at doing it with everything else, don't know why I've not been on top of it with their crap stuff.
What about books, do we not count them?

MadauntofA Mon 28-Dec-15 13:20:20

No, that is just for the random drawer stuff that you would chuck in the bin if they weren't there. You can sort the books separately - decide which ones you think they should keep, then give them a pile of ones which you would automatically take to the charity shop and tell them they can keep 3 or 4 from that pile. Toys in the same way - get rid of the broken/ too young toys, then get them to choose some from the pile that you are not sure about. My 2 seem to be attached to the most random things, so I tend to get rid of broken etc ones by stealth then they help me sort the rest. It is good for them to sort things out themselves - gets them used to organising/ realising which toys have not been played with. Maybe a " we need to make some room for your Xmas pressies" type chat to start it off.

stargirl1701 Mon 28-Dec-15 13:27:47

Photograph the artwork and projects so you have a memory but not the clutter. Donate the clothes.

Cressandra Mon 28-Dec-15 15:20:08

Clothes - my new regime is I go through what they have each season change (ie 2x per year, when it starts, and stops, being shorts weather). They really don't need many clothes. If they have 6ish tops and 4ish bottoms that fit, 3 or so cardis/jumpers, socks/tights/leggings that coordinate rather than clashing, they are good to go. And it is way, way easier for them to keep on top of their stuff if it fits easily in their drawers. Anything on the point of being outgrown gets chucked unless they really love it. Anything too big or very out of season gets put away for a season or two. Then we know exactly what they have left that fits and looks nice that season, so I know exactly what else they need. I take DD shopping for that specific list. This time it was a very short list so we splashed out on individual items, knowing there were so few to buy. Before our audit I'd thought she had hardly any clothes but I realised she actually had loads, she just needed plenty of dark tights and leggings to make it all work. DS hates shopping so I get him to pick a couple of tops from online shops and get him jeans etc at the supermarket. So that is my plan really - 2 shopping days a year!

Mine have a "precious things" box each (biscuit tin) and a wallshelf to display treasures. Big plastic folder for all their certificates, and I separately have a box per child for stuff I want to keep.

I have decided DD's room needs shitloads of storage because there seem to be hundreds of categories of STUFF in her room. Books, toys, stationery, various different crafts, hairthings, cushions, her rock collection, gym & swimming gear, random clay models. So she has lots of drawers including bedside drawers, desk drawers and a trofast unit. She was brilliant when we went through it all together, she did throw away a lot and doing it with her made me realise quite how much she has. And this is a child who has few toys, really. Our current challenge is to squeeze all her new books in somehow.

We keep the topmost, inaccessible trofast box for "stuff we are putting aside for a bit but aren't quite ready to get rid of yet". I think that helps her to let go of things.

I'd also recommend a box/basket for party bag/happymeal type tat. All ours goes into that box, so all the well-loved tat is easily found and doesn't clutter up the rest of the house. Otherwise it's prime material for being homeless stuff, ie clutter.

tartiflette Tue 29-Dec-15 00:10:57

Thank you all, this is so helpful thanks

Chopz Tue 29-Dec-15 00:22:39

Sift through everything and only keep the best loved or played with things.

Get an art box for each child. Amazon.

Buy storage AFTER Decluttering. Learn how to store kondo style.

Get rid of cloths that are awful, holey, stained, too small or disliked. Make a capsule wardrobe for the kids. So school clothes, 3 jumpers, 3 legging, 2 skirts, 5 tops, 7 pants, 7 socks., winter coat, rain coat, wellies, trainers, school shoes.

Chopz Tue 29-Dec-15 00:25:00

Also ask them to sort through their stuff first. Then do a second sweep while they are out. Get rid of anything they've stopped playing with

ijustwannadance Tue 29-Dec-15 00:30:56

I have a little bucket for all the tat that comes free with magazines, maccies toys etc. Every so often I go through and chuck it all.
When DD was younger I had a lidded box in spare room that things no longer played with went in. If not asked for/missed after a month they went to charity.
Now I ask her what she can part with. I wouldn't get rid of her stuff without asking.

kermit79 Wed 30-Dec-15 17:32:44

Someone on another thread recommended this method for toy rotation which you may find useful for 'stuff' www.thelittlestories.com/2011/12/12/how-to-rotate-toys/

I'm interested to know what ikea trolley you have for craft stuff as I'm looking for ideas...

tartiflette Wed 30-Dec-15 22:46:43

I have the raskog ink{http://m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/art/30216536\m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/art/3021653]]6}/] - if you look on Pinterest there are lots of lovely pictures of them being used as craft storage. I can only aspire to such perfection but I love it all the same

tartiflette Wed 30-Dec-15 22:47:35

God I used to be able to link properly angry

kermit79 Thu 31-Dec-15 11:52:31

Ooh- just had a look at the raskog on Pinterest. Love it! I need 3 of them.

BingoBonkers Fri 01-Jan-16 11:00:40

The DC hoard. One won't even get rid of a corner of paper. Collects all sorts.

Tonight when they are asleep and if the baby will actually sleep without being held I shall try to make a start on going through their unloved belongings.

We have five ikea storage boxes. All full. Plus a smaller one rammed with puzzles. Not all in their boxes! shock Plus an idea storage unit that has 8 pull out drawers. ALL FULL. Plus a four drawer ikea thing in one of the bedrooms. Top ones are books. I've no issue with books but maybe I do need to sort through. The bottom drawers are full of crap. Maybe I could change these drawers into their special drawers?

I've had to ban toys upstairs as they trash them everywhere and it takes me hours to sort through it all again and frankly even with th helping me it still takes forever and I've r bough jobs in the house without adding to my list.

Great thread! Thank you OP

justwondering72 Sun 03-Jan-16 21:43:11

I do a lot by stealth. Any toys that I find myself dusting (!) or that I know haven't been touched for months get moved to the cellar for a few more months. If they aren't asked for, they are sent to charity / tips nod just not mentioned again.

They each have one drawer only that they are allowed to fill with random plastic crap and other 'previous' stuff.

They are quite used to the idea that their old clothes get passed onto a friend's family, so I do the same with nicer toys that they have grown out of - we pass them onto some younger children that they know and like. Oh and yy to the capsule wardrobe: I had a massive clothes clear out a while ago, and did it by first deciding e.g. How many trousers / t shirts / pants etc were needed, then choosing the nicest up to that number and getting rid of everything else.

I also make a point of matching stuff to storage space rather than the other way round I.e. I've allocated one IKEA trolley to crafty stuff, so once that's full, anything beyond that gets binned / disposed of. It works well and means that the really nice stuff gets kept while that tat gets binned, and you ding hand to keep finding new ways to store things,

Good luck!

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