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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Decluttering a Child's Room

My child's room has been overflowing with junk for some time now. Quite a bit of it has come from other people, but a lot of it has come from us too. I let her buy a toy here and there when we are at yard sales or at the flea market. I especially don't mind when she finds things that can be used to be creative - markers, crayons, craft supplies, etc. However, this has all become too much! We now have hundreds of crayons! HUNDREDS! Markers and paper lay strewn all over the floor. Her art easel had been overrun by paper and paints. It's insane!

She generally likes to play in her room, but lately that has become impossible. I had asked her to clean her room, but where is she supposed to put everything? You could see her become overwhelmed the second she walked in her room. Her version of cleaning it was throwing everything in her closet and calling it a day. Who can blame her?

I finally found the solution - I think.

Yesterday morning, I took almost everything out of her room. I boxed it all up and took it to our basement storage. I left only some craft supplies, all of her books, puzzles and clothes and a few of her favorite toys. The rest will be sorted through over the next couple of weeks. I will only replace the things that she genuinely misses. The rest will be divied up and sold or given away.

Strangely, I had begun to feel kind of sorry for her when I would see all the junk she has. Why? Because she can't really play with it all and she can't spend creative time in her room. It was just too much and was just another sign of how overconsumption can truly take over your home and your life.

Here is what I did:
1. I cleared everything out. I threw away everything that could not be reused. I then boxed everything else up and took it to storage. This will be sorted throughout the week and labeled for yard sale or given away.
2. We designated certain areas for her room. She does crafts at her desk and she will do homework there this year as well. Her bed is for sleeping. She now has a bean bag next to her bookshelf for reading.
3. The closet and dresser are for clothes only.
4. We have a hanging storage thingy for toys and some are under her bed. She has a dollhouse, art easel and a few random stuffed animals. That's it.

I know I feel better and last night she disappeared into her room for hours. She was enjoying all of her new found space.

P.S. She hasn't complained once about all of the toys leaving her room.

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