Some time ago when while scrolling instagram I came across a comment where another Mom gave praise to the book ” Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne. I ordered it right then and there, and let me tell you its so good! One of the first topics brought up is your child’s room and how too much stuff can lead to anxiety, behavior and even sleeping problems. I’m already someone who hates ” stuff” I’m constantly donating things we don’t use, or just don’t have a place to put. We live in a tiny 900 sqft apartment so it can feel cluttered very easily, donating the unnecessary junk is an absolute must.
Anyways back to the kids rooms. In Payne’s book the first step to simplifying our children’s lives is by simplifying their rooms aka getting rid of all of those dang toys!
Here is how I approached the “purge” I grabbed two… okay more like four trash bags. Two for donating, Two for the trash. The kids and I then put all of their toys in the middle of the floor. Broken toys, games with missing pieces etc all went to the toss pile. Once we got rid of those Finley and Lincoln each had the task of filling up a trash bag each of toys to donate. I feel like I should add in a disclaimer, we’ve been doing this on a smaller scale since Finley was 1.5- 2 years old. Normally its just a paper grocery bag, but nevertheless Finley and Lincoln are used to donating toys. Our rule is a bag of toys donated before every gift giving holiday. ” You must give in order to receive.” If you’ve never done this with your kids, prep them before talk about the importance of donating, where their toys will be going, maybe watch the end of Toy Story 3 when Andy gives his Toys to Bonnie. Let your child pick which toys they want to donate, when they feel in control of the outcome they’re much more willing to let some of their things go. On that note too do not donate toys that your child is attached to, even if you really really want to.
A purpose And A Place
This next one is BIG BIG one for me! Its actually one of the most frustrating aspects of being a family of five in such a small living space, not everything we have / need has a specific place to be stored, which ultimately leads to clutter! I try to apply this rule as best as we can for our current living situation. The rule is simple, everything we own should have a purpose and specific place where it “lives”. This same idea can be applied to our children’s rooms as well. All of their clothing, and toys should serve a purpose; cloths fit, toys are in good condition/ played with often. And everything has a place, all toys are kept in specific bins. That way your kids know exactly where things go and can clean their rooms independently. If you’re children are small like mine you can print and laminate picture labels to help them remember what goes where.
When we help our children simplify their space we help to reduce over stimulation which ultimately leads to anxiety and poor emotional regulation. In todays world our kids are bombarded with so much stimuli from the TV, to tablets and toys and information. They aren’t often given the opportunity to simply be a kid. As a Mother I want to preserve as much of their childhood. For us simplifying our home is part of that.