People who don’t have children may think they have problems with clutter, but they don’t know the half of it. As soon as the imminent arrival of a baby is announced, the bewildered parents are showered with gifts.
By the time baby number two is born, your household possessions have practically doubled, and you realise that your clutter is dangerously out of control. There are toys all over the floor, baby equipment filling every room, and mountainous piles of dirty washing and nappies. You need help but what do you do?
Stop Buying Things
The first and most important step is to stop buying things. You’re the worst culprit and you’re just making matters worse. Don’t buy what’s fun, unusual, or cute. Only buy what your child actually needs.
Tell Others To Stop Too
Politely ask your parents and other family members to check with you before they buy something for your children. That way you’ll stop receiving duplicates and unnecessary toys and clothing. How many cute bunnies and pink dresses does a child need?
Track Down the Duplicates And Duds
Search your child’s possessions and give away or sell the duplicates, or the items you have too many of. While you’re at it, remove the dud gifts which misguided relatives have given your children; a pink bow tie… what were they thinking?
Cull The Never-Played-With
All children play with about ten per cent of their toys and the rest lie about tripping you up and gathering dust. Remove all the toys they never play with and store in a cupboard they can’t reach, so they don’t all get dragged out again. From time to time, rotate some of the toys, and see if they play with the ‘new’ ones. If a toy consistently never gets played with, then it’s time for it to go.
Implement One In And One Out
Keep half of your child’s toys in an inaccessible cupboard and don’t get one out for them, unless another one goes in the cupboard to replace it.
Insist On Tidiness
When your child has finished playing with the toy cars, the building blocks, or the lego models, insist that they put them back where they belong, before they run off in search of another diversion. This will instil self-discipline which will benefit them greatly when they’re older.
Banish Large Toys To The Garden
Don’t allow your child to play with scooters, ride on toys, tricycles, or toy pushchairs indoors, unless you have a large house. Enormous wheeled toys take up a lot of space, can trip you up, and make you feel harrassed every time they get in your way. Insist that wheeled toys are only played with in the garden or your local park.
Take Back Control
Follow these guidelines and not only will your child-related clutter stay under control, but you’ll keep your sanity and be the envy of other parents. Your child will learn self-discipline and will also benefit from having more relaxed parents.
It won’t be easy, but neither is clutter that’s out of control. Take control of your children’s possessions. You won’t regret it.