Project Declutter: Annie’s Room

We had a small family get together last night to celebrate Jackson’s 10th birthday. While the grown-ups visited downstairs Annie and a couple of other “5 years and under” kids played in her room. This is what it looked like when they left.

I blame the cake.

And also – my lack of organization in the kids rooms.

But mostly, the cake.

Now before you get all “judgey” I want to tell you a couple things:

1. The first step is to admit you have a problem and I think posting this picture on my blog is pretty darn courageous of me. BTW – I think I also have a pretty unhealthy relationship with candy corn. But that’s another revelation and blog post entirely.

2. Glass houses, you guys. I know there’s a least one of you out there that doesn’t have their kids rooms under control!

So we are going on a pretty cool long weekend trip tomorrow (which I will tell you all about soon) so I’m not going to be able to get organized until after I get back BUT I want to formulate my plan now. I just wish Annie was into Hot Wheels cars like me son was. They have that cool, system where you can organize cars on the wall and I clearly have run out of floor space for all her “little” stuff. Doll clothes, play food, stickers, books…it all needs a place – BUT WHERE?

  1. Some of it just needs to go. I know that. It’s hard for me, though. I didn’t have a lot growing up and I remember hanging on to what we had even though I didn’t need or play with it “just in case”. I need to get over the attachment to things and teach my children the same thing. So step one: get rid of what we don’t need.
  2. Sort like items. It’s hard to play with Barbies when Barbie stuff is in five different places. I need to get things that go together, physically together so they can find a home…..together!
  3. Get clear bins. I think the reason Annie doesn’t play with some of her things is that she can’t see them. Outta sight, outta mind. I’m going to get clear bins in similar sizes for each group of items like dress up clothes, jewelry, kitchen food, Barbie stuff, etc.
  4. Label it! Then I’m going to write what it is on the bin AND put a photo of the item so EVERYONE knows where everything goes.
  5. Get the kids involved. I’m guilty of waiting until the kids’ rooms get really bad and then just cleaning them myself. I need to get them to
  6. Make cleaning a habit. I’m going to start using the chore chart that is prominently posted by my calendar in the kitchen but never gets used. Part of the new daily duties will include a five minute room straighten-up so they can keep on top of things before their rooms get really bad.
  7. Reward the kids for giving away unwanted items to other. A friend of mine assigns a dollar amount to toys and when her daughter donates an item she gives her money to go into a savings bank so she can get something she really wants.
  8. Throw away “junk” before it piles up. Can you say kids meals toys? Yeah. They need to go in the recycle bin before they get a chance to nest in the toy box! Local preschools love these type of small toys to use as good behavior prizes. I’m going to start taking them directly there!
  9. Accumulate less overall. I’m going to encourage family members to give “experience” gifts this year instead of toys. There are certain toys they want and love – but beyond that…instead of giving a bunch of little things they don’t really want…I’m going to suggest that grandma gives a zoo outing or tickets to the aquarium as a gift instead.
  10. Invest in toys/activities that the entire family can enjoy. In an effort to spend more time together…I want to find fun things to do (like board games) together.
Does that sound like a plan? What do you think? I’d love to hear about any decluttering/cleaning tricks to help me so jump on in and leave comments about what works for you!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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