encouraging kids to reckon with their belongings, especially ahead of the holidays.
Thank you for detailing your routine and being open and honest about the struggles as well!
Also just wanted to add as encouragement that we are playing the long game. My oldest is 5 and for several years did not want to give anything away, ever. Now she is getting pretty good at knowing what she wants to keep and what she wants to give away.
Would love to hear more about this process for your youngest, and when you started it! I have a 2y/o and want to start going through her toys (we also have a very small home) but I’m not sure she’s old enough to understand.
My three kids in one room (12, 9, and 6) make such an intense mess. Periodically, such as when friends are coming over, we go through and clean, but it gets overwhelming. My middle child is a hoarder, so all cleaning must happen when he is not around. And still every surface is somehow covered in origami and rocks and all other things he accumulates. I am constantly searching for ways to organize and deal with the mess, but it still grows (and the organizing systems get broken, etc...). I would love to hear more about how you are now organizing your kids in their room. We have the oldest two on bunkbeds and the youngest on a trundle, but the oldest, who is only a couple of months from official teenage-dom is itching to have his own space. We are considering hanging a curtain and getting him his own bed for his own space, but that needs figuring and budgeting. I never thought we would have 3 kids (2 boys, 1 girl; one almost a teen) in one room, and honestly, we don't even live in a city. But we like our neighborhood, don't want to spend money to buy a bigger house, and can't afford to build on. Our mortgage is small, which lets us do things like travel a lot. This is all hard to explain to everyone else who judges us (grandparents) and asks when we are going to get the boys their own room. No one is volunteering to get that additional mortgage for us, though...
This takes me back! When our kids were young, we used to have summer students staying with us. The kids would be moved to the small room to share and we put students in twin beds in their room. It gave me a fantastic opportunity to declutter their toys, clothes etc, usually whilst they were at school. They never missed a thing! As they got older I included them in the process and to this day, they are very good at decluttering when it gets too much. They are grown adults now and I think I have installed good habits in them. Plus we don't have students anymore!!
That is a lot!!!!
My daughter woke us up the other morning by screaming “I need to organize my kitchen!” and my husband just turned to me and started to sing “careful the things you say, children will listen...”. All about that learned behavior 👏👏👏 We’ve also got a bunch of new babies in our lives so I’m working on “which new friend would you like to give this to?” when she outgrows an item (be it clothing, book or toy). Thank you for modeling these actions for all of us!
I am impressed by your process! I am the queen of the surreptitiously thrown away gross mochi toy or 2 week old art project. I think my kids just assume things disappear eventually. I'm too nervous to include them in the process bc everything might turn out to be SO SPECIAL that they can't ever imagine parting with it.
My oldest has begun to understand when to let things go. My youngest wants to keep everything because bringing it to her attention makes it important. It’s a continuous process. I’m going through the general household and clothes. The season has changed, and I need more mental (and somewhat actual) space before the onslaught of toys.
Thank you. Great piece! Reading this at what feels like the perfect time.