Clear the clutter with children

Are you busting at the seams with an abundance of everything? (books, toys, dishes, clothes, craft
supplies, fabrics, toiletries). I know it’s not just me. Over the years, I have moved and I have assisted
friends with moving and the common complaint is having an excess of everything. Sometimes it’s due to
lack of organization, gifts received, sentimental attachments, or just not even knowing where to start.
When my daughter woke up on this beautiful Saturday morning asking what adventures we were going
to have, I said we are going to clear the clutter. I let her know that we have too much and we need to do
this together. She was less than thrilled and then I just explained that it’s important that she has a say in
what leaves our home which was easy for her to agree with. I also reminded her that she’s a big part of
our home and we both contribute to the overall love in our home. These points were impossible to
argue with and so, we began.

Let’s backtrack a moment. I know I am not alone when I say I have always said that “your presence is the
present” when inviting friends or family to birthday celebrations. I know that a love language is gift
giving and I am guilty because I do love to give. I have said that it’s also great when people just want to
contribute to an extracurricular activity or find time to spend with us. These requests are met with
beautiful, amazing and thoughtful and generous gifts which have left us where we begin this journey of

I let her know while I was decluttering, she would be as well and that
she could decide what she was ready to part with. We stopped to reminisce about things we found,
notes, photos and who gifted us these mementos. We created, keep, donate, toss and gift piles. We
stopped for meal breaks but kept at it for six long hours. We only got through one category each but she
said she felt good about this because now she actually knows where all of her special items are. I was
her assistant through much of it so I actually got less done in the process but we were able to remove 4
large bags of items from our space which is definitely a huge success. But the most successful part was
the bond we shared during this process.
Here are some key “wins”

  • Quality time. Did you know this is often the love language for children? (Mine too). The 5 Love
    Languages of Children
  • Communication: creating quality time, reminiscing about found objects, allowing her to make
    decisions felt good and it opened the doors for future conversations
  • Empowerment (see above)
  • Accountability (because she set up the organization, she knows where her belongings are kept
    and can locate them). All members of the family contribute to our home.


Instagram photo @thepeacefulpreparedenvironment