How to Conquer Kid Clutter for Once and All

How to Conquer Kid Clutter for Once and All

Overwhelmed by kid clutter?  

The crap stuff kids accumulate certainly seems to multiply like bunnies overnight. Before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of plastic junk.  

What to do with it all?  

You can’t just pitch it all and be done with it, unfortunately. You kids would howl with displeasure and they’d never forgive you, rightly so.

Read on for some quick strategies for how to truly conquer kid clutter:

No-Guilt Clutter To Deal With

There is some stuff that you can and should get rid of without any guilt.

Like free stuff that came in cereal boxes or giveaways from festivals and events.

The problem is that kids like STUFF.

But quite often, there’s no discernment between high quality stuff, like Legos and other nice toys, from plastic prizes from dentists offices.

They want to keep it all.

So I have an unorthodox method of dealing with this kind of stuff!

Look for opportunities to get rid of items your kids aren’t using when they’re not around.  

Like nap time.  

You might think I’m joking, but I’m totally serious.  

Chances are they won’t miss the plastic do-dad acquired from the fast food joint or a birthday party treat bag if just disappears.

Truth is, I regularly cull this kind of crap-eola from my house.  

A lot of times without my kids’ permission.  

When I get called on this, I usually just say, “oh, I’m sure it’s around here somewhere” and 5 seconds later they’ve forgotten all about it.

There’s simply some junk they’ll never voluntarily get rid of and in reality, they have no use for it and it just clutters the space up.  It’s just junkity junk.  

Get rid of it and feel no guilt!

An alternative to getting rid of it all without any input from your child is to gather the items you consider to be nothing but clutter.

Then have your child pick out some of their favorites to keep.

But make sure to get rid of the rest!

If you’ve not tried this approach before, your kids will probably argue with you and make a case for keeping it all.

But relay to them that there’s too much stuff and decisions must be made.

Pro tip

Whatever method you opt for, stealthy or collaborative decluttering, use a dark colored bag to dispose of the aforementioned junkity-junk.  

They won’t be able to see through the bag and are likely to stop complaining that you are getting rid of their stuff!

Birthdays and Holidays are Great Decluttering Opportunities

Use the weeks before birthdays and holidays to have your kids voluntarily get rid of things.  

I use the carrot of new shiny things that are sure to come in as birthday presents as an incentive for my boys to let go of things they no longer want or use.  

When this type of decluttering is routine, your kids won’t balk at letting things go.  

It’ll be just another thing that’s normal and expected and it’ll become a habit of sorts.

A good habit that will serve them long term because it’s not possible to hang on to every item that comes into our home!

Pro tip

Use specific language like “Which of these (insert specific category of toys) are you done playing with?”

Or “Gather all of your baby dolls. You have 10 baby dolls here.  Which three can leave to make room for all of the new toys you’re about to get?”

The key to success here is to set limits.

Kids actually love limits because expectations are clear.

They might fight you a little, but long term, this is the best strategy to use.

This teaches them how to declutter, which is a pillar of staying organized.

Seasonal Changes Provide a Decluttering Routine

Don’t want until you have an entire day or weekend free to declutter kid stuff.

That would be so overwhelming!

Instead, prevent the build up up kids clothing clutter by regularly getting rid of things your kids have outgrown.  

When the seasons are about to change is a great time to evaluate what fits and won’t fit.

If you plan to use the item with another child when they grow into it (clothes or toys), pack them away in a labeled container.

Until the right time comes, you’ll be able to keep the extra items out of the way and safely stored.  

If there’s no one in your immediate family to keep the items for, pass them along to friends or donate them.

Make sure to check out the resources below for a specific solution that is quick and easy for managing hand me down clothes!

Pro tip

Use big labels so there’s no doubt as to what you have.  

I’ve designed the most perfect set of labels and inventory sheets.

The Golden Rule of Organizing

Another great strategy to use with kids is the One In – One Out Rule. aka The Golden Rule of Organizing.

It’s as simple as it sounds: When you bring something new into your home, say a new stuffed animal, something else must leave, perhaps an unloved stuffy.

Pro tip

Make no exceptions to this rule and you’ll be amazed what a difference it makes!

Especially when it comes to the amount of clutter you no longer have to deal with.


Resources for Organizing Kids

Here are a few additional resources for managing kids stuff and dealing with their clutter!

Kid Memory Items

School papers, award, certificates and team pictures can quickly get out of control and become clutter if not contained.

I’ve devised a simple system for organizing all of this stuff that anyone can do!

Print the kit, set up the file box and start adding items in the right spot.

There’s a spot for everything, making it super easy for even your kids to keep it up!

Keeping Kids Clothing Organized

Another common source of kid clutter are clothes that no longer fit and unorganized drawers stuffed full of different types of clothing.

Use these printable labels to quickly define drawers, shelves or baskets so you can keep everything in its place.

Once you have the clothing sorted out by type, now sort by size.

Pull out anything that doesn’t fit and organize the clothes with this printable Hand Me Down Clothing Organizing kit.

This system makes it easy to know exactly what you have on hand and literally gets clothes out of the way until they’re needed!

More Kid Stuff Decluttering Tips

Watch this video for even more kid decluttering tips!

In just under 3 minutes, learn techniques for decluttering kid stuff and staying organized!  

Among other things, I spill the beans on the best types of containers to use with kids so that you can stay organized.

Over to you!

Do you have other strategies for dealing with kid clutter?

Share your best tip in the comments!