How do you teach children to declutter?

(16 Posts)
OhioOhioOhio Sat 16-Nov-19 14:06:30

After living with a hoarder and still years later coping with his stuff I desperately want my kids to learn how to enjoy a clear space.

How do I do this?

OP’s posts: |
isseywith4vampirecats Sat 16-Nov-19 14:27:36

have enough storage for their toys and get into a routine of getting them to put toys away before they have bath and bedtime routine
an easily accesible washing basket so after say bath or when getting into pyjamas the clothes go in the basket
no food or drinks in bedrooms too easy to pile them up,
throw all broken toys away so all the toys they have work and every so often go through them to look for toys outgrown and then charity shop them
books join the library so the books they are reading go back and dont start piling up
clothes same as toys if decent and fit keep, if not throw, give away or charity shop

MabelMoo23 Sat 16-Nov-19 14:29:03

Never mind my kids, I desperately wish I knew how to declutter

OhioOhioOhio Sat 16-Nov-19 15:20:08

How old when it is reasonable to expect them to understand they need to get rid of stuff?

OP’s posts: |
GoodwithRocksandGems Sat 16-Nov-19 15:31:20

I found this time of year is a good time actually. I went with “let’s make room for new toys, why not give some of your toys to Schools/charities for kids who need them”.

Once they hit secondary school it happened naturally. My older two cleared out their rooms and went minimal before the end of their first term of year 7! grin

OhioOhioOhio Sat 16-Nov-19 15:34:44

This is good news. Why do you think it happened naturally?

OP’s posts: |
churchandstate Sat 16-Nov-19 15:34:48

I think you have to support them with the decision-making up to teenage years and not force them to throw out things they love.


iabvvu Sat 16-Nov-19 15:40:19

There was a programme on cbbc when I was younger called 'clutter nutters'. I remember finding it really inspiring and always sorted my room out afterwards! Maybe if it's available somewhere online they could watch it and hopefully it would have the same effect? Good luck x

GoodwithRocksandGems Sat 16-Nov-19 15:47:03

I think they just grow up so quickly at secondary. New friends start to come over and they become a bit embarrassed to have toys/craft out. They start getting clothes, hair stuff, a radio for Christmas etc.

My 15 year old still has her box of play mobile animals hidden in the corner of the playroom though wink

I have one dc at primary school and his room is still full of toys but I’m chilled out about it because it’s nice to watch him play and I know that stage will be over soon enough....

Livebythecoast Sat 16-Nov-19 16:46:32

Yes, this is a good time of year as pp said. My DD is 15 now but I bribe encourage her to go through her wardrobe and 'stuff' to get ready for new things for Christmas and her birthday is 5 days before Christmas too. We have a throw away bag (crap), a charity bag and a 'too old for it but can't part with it' bag - mainly bloody build a bear stuff that she 'had' to have which goes in the loft until we next move smile

prawnsword Sat 16-Nov-19 16:55:48

Choosing some toys & old clothes to donate together & do this once a year. Xmas or spring time maybe ?

I’m sorry you had to live in those conditions, it must have been mentally damaging & suffocating !

CherryPavlova Sat 16-Nov-19 17:04:31

I think ours learned because we moved quite a lot when they were young.

I’ve always made them have two major clear outs per year - one during Advent (there’s a tradition of preparing for Christmas and deep cleaning etc). Then Again before birthdays. We’ve never bought lots of things in one go without getting rid of the things being replaced. So new uniforms only purchased after old uniforms taken to thrift shop; holiday clothing only purchased when old swimwear etc has been taken to charity shops. Even now student child is not given carte Blanche to buy new skiwear until she’s been through, tried on and put unsuitable items in a bag for redistribution.

We’ve also always had a culture of Christmas being about giving more than receiving giving - so they have to choose present to take to Church to be given to the local prison visitors centre and always made up shoeboxes for various charities. I think the slightly different emphasis is a good way to teach it’s not all about consuming.

isspacethefinalfrontier Sat 16-Nov-19 17:04:51

The key is to buy less to begin with

I am not good at that

TheBitterBoy Sat 16-Nov-19 17:07:33

Agree with all of the above, I also found the minimal mom on you tube to be really helpful, she has a whole series of videos on decluttering toys.

Allthepinkunicorns Sat 16-Nov-19 17:11:13

If you declutter yourself on a regular basis then your kids will follow suit. I'm constantly donating things and my ds does the same with toys he has grown out of. I go through all clothes at the end of every season and donate or sell things that ds has grown out of and this keeps his wardrobe clutter free. I also do the same with my own clothes.

halcyondays Thu 06-Feb-20 15:35:52

For those who grew up having regular clear outs where they would decide what to get rid of as children, did you ever regret anything you’d got rid of later on?

As a child ,after a certain age, I kept pretty much all my toys, books etc and didn’t really get rid of anything except clothes. I didn’t have huge amounts of stuff compared to what mine have and our house was big enough that space wasn’t really an issue.

Mine are now at a point where they’re ready to get rid of younger toys, but what is a normal amount of stuff to keep for sentimental reasons?
Tempted to keep some of the nicer stuff for potential grandchildren etc.

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