Clutter from the kids in your home can add up quickly. It may even feel like it’s taking over. There is often a lot of stuff that is around the house…birthday party trinkets, hand-me-downs, school papers, art projects, sports equipment, gifts and more. If you feel like you are constantly dealing with the extra stuff that comes home with your kiddos, this episode is for you.
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Full Episode Transcription:
Clutter from the kids in your home can add up quickly. It may even feel like it’s taking over. There’s often a lot of stuff that is around the house. Like birthday party trinkets, hand me down school papers, art projects, sports equipment, gifts, and more. If you feel like you’re constantly dealing with the extra stuff that comes home with your kiddos, this episode is for you. Hey friends, quick tips that make a big impact in your daily life are my favorite ways to implement systems around the house. I’ve been sharing easy strategies and my go-to organizing products for tip Tuesday on the intentional edit Instagram feed for a few years. Now I’m excited to bring it to the podcast with short episodes, answering your questions every Tuesday. If you want me to answer your questions, go to the podcast page on intentional, edit.com and submit your questions there.
Let’s get started on this tip Tuesday episode of the intentional edit podcast. Hey friends, thanks for joining me for episode 42 of the intentional edit podcast. It is a tip Tuesday episode where I will be answering center question. If you want to submit a question or something that you’re thinking about, if you’re looking for help, you can go to intentional edit.com. Click on the record. Now button that pops up question. It’s like leaving a voicemail for a friend, super easy. You just click on the button type in your name and you are good to go with leaving me or concern or something that you’re wondering about that I can answer on a future tip Tuesday episode of the intentional edit podcast. The question for today is what to do about kid clutter, toys, papers, things they bring home from school. I don’t even know where it all comes from.
It seems I am always getting rid of something or the other and the stuff from my kids all over makes my house a mess. How do I deal with it? So it’s not always a problem. Thank you for submitting that question. It’s a great one. And it is so common. If you have kids or even one child, you know that they come with stuff and they’re constantly BR bringing these things, this stuff into the house, where does it come from? And what do we do about it? How can we manage this clutter that is involving all of this stuff that the kids have and use and bring home. And sometimes don’t use. The first thing we have to do is to identify where is this coming from? Where does this clutter come from? How is it getting into the house? And then we have to come up with systems to deal with each type of clutter that is being brought in.
Let’s talk about a couple places that the clutter can come from. The first one comes to mind is school. When you’re thinking about where does this clutter come from school? Yes. What come from school papers. If these are things that a parent needs to look at or complete fill out, send back to school, then you need to have some kind of a spot in your home. Probably a basket, a bin, maybe a file container on the wall. That is an action basket for mom or action basket for the parent that is going to complete these forms, fill them out, get them back to school. The other thing that comes home from school is homework or projects that they’ve done. Things that are more papers. Those things need to be dealt with right away. The easiest way to not ever have that clutter pile up is to deal with those on a daily basis.
When the backpack comes from, from school, the folders come out, the papers come out. If you determine that these need to be saved, some families, and some teachers require that that paper be saved for the entire semester or the entire entire year, have a designated spot where each child can do that, where it’s out of the way. But then if there’s a problem and you need to refer back to that, then you can go to that spot and they stay organized in a pile. You’re probably not ever gonna look at them once the school year is over that those papers can be recycled backpacks. Also add to clutter when the homework is completed, that backpack should be packed up and ready for the next day, zipped up. It should all be closed and sitting by the door or hanging on a hook by the door, waiting to leave in the morning.
It doesn’t stay on the kitchen. Counter. It doesn’t stay on. Table are on the floor. The folders and notebooks and papers are not spread all over. It’s easy to clear that clutter, by getting in the habit of zipping it all up and having it ready to go out the door the next morning, by placing it next to that door. Another thing that comes home from school is art projects and any type of project really, but those thing can be awkward shapes. You don’t know what to do with them. It is okay to get rid of them only save the best and toss the rest. Each child can have a bin, some probably stored up in their closet or under their bin. A, the hour boxes from the container store are great bins for this. Doesn’t have to be huge, even a medium to small size container with a lid where the most special art projects, the most special drawings and things that are important.
Go in this bin. There’s not a second one. It’s this one container for each child. That’s what you save. Another great option for art projects is taking a picture of the, these things and then having either a digital album or using these pictures in a book, not putting the physical pictures, but having a digital photo album made just with the pictures of the art projects. That’s an easy way to have all the memories, but you don’t have to keep the projects picking up space in your home and adding to the clutter birthday party, trinkets, little toys, vending machine toys. Those are things that come to our homes and usually never get played with. Some families have rules where the kids can play with them in the car on the way home. And then they get tossed or they have a 24 hour rule in the house, but these are not things that are going to be played with long term in the rare situation that it is, then that toy when it comes into the house for the first time, it goes and lives and is stored with the other toys that are similar or to it, or the toys that it will be played with at the same time.
Another option is to have a donation bag in your house, in a closet somewhere. I recommend this, not just for the, for these kinds of toys and little trinkets that come home. But for anything that you see that you realize you not using anymore, you don’t want, you want to get rid of then having a donation bag or basket or a couple. Sometimes everyone has one of these in their closet. You immediately put this toy in there. And then when that basket is full or that box or bag is full, it goes into the back of your car and it gets dropped off at the donation place. And then you replace that bag basket, then whatever it is with another one. So you constantly have a place to put items you don’t need anymore to be donated. Another reason that we have clutter around the house for kids is when we save things that don’t fit or they are not age appropriate, but they will be in a few years, hand me to gowns.
This can be in clothing toys, and especially things like swings and different things that babies use. If you don’t have a child in that stage right now, but it’s something that you need to keep because you will, in a short amount of time, then take those items and remove them from sight, a storage location, wrap them up tightly. Maybe it’s the garage basement up on a high shelf in a closet, but remove them from your daily high traffic areas. Because that is when it makes you stressed. And it feels like clutter. It is clutter. If you’re not using it, if you have a baby that uses that swing, it’s not clutter. It’s a necessity for that stage and phase of life. But when it’s just sitting there collecting dust, because it’s not being used, that’s when it’s clutter. So find a place to store it with the hand me downs.
You don’t have to say yes to everything. And just because something works for one child doesn’t mean it will work for the next one, especially with clothes. You have to be aware of the sizes that your kids are. And the seasons think about hand me downs. Don’t accept them. If you’re not going to use them. If someone drops off a couple big bags of clothing to you go through them right away, carve out time in the next day or two, go through each bag, decide what you’re keeping, store it and label with what size clothing it is so that you don’t have to go through it again. But you know when to pull it out so that you can actually use it and then everything that isn’t gonna work for your family that can immediately go into your car to be donated to the next place that you are going to donate items to something else that adds clutter in the home and seems to be more prevalent with kids are gifts, really unwanted gifts that are probably still in the box or sometimes open and not played with played with.
Once the kids realize that they’re not really interested in it, and then it just sits there and it is another desk collector. It’s not something that was wanted or not something that is interested in that would be something that can go to that donation, basket bin box, whatever you have in your house. And it can be donated, pass it along to someone else that really wants these things. And we’ll play with them and can get youth out of them. Another long term solution to this is get in the habit of asking for, or suggesting gifts that are experiences rather than physical belongings. I have an episode it’s episode 13, that is all about gifts that are experiences gifts that will make long lasting memories that your kids will actually love and have fun doing. Instead of just another thing that sits in your house that rarely gets used sports equipment is another thing that adds to the clutter.
One way to deal with this is make sure that the items that need to go to practice or games are all always kept in that bag or backpack. That is for the sporting event, that season go through that bag, clean it out at the end of every season, Jonie and get rid of the things that you don’t need anymore, but keep the bag stocked with what it needs during the season and have a designated place where that bag goes. It should be zipped up lows, hanging on a hook, sitting in a bag scale, waiting by the door, or maybe you keep it in your car and it doesn’t come out. Whatever works for you. And that will vary depending on the age of the child, the activity level and what the sport is. But again, everything needs to have a place to go so that you stay organized and the clutter doesn’t impact your daily life in the high traffic areas of your home episode just came out.
It was episode 40 all on sports equipment and making sure that your kids are responsible and having the right things that they need for every game, practice and tournament. Go listen to episode 40. If that applies to you, most importantly, with all of these things just gave you easy solutions, simple solutions that you can use in your home for all of these things, the common theme was have a place for everything. Everything has to have a place. And the way that you do that is by organization, but you can’t be organized unless you have done a thorough purge. You have to be ruthless and declutter and purge all of the things that are not serving you. If you want to follow my step by step plan that has been used by many, many families over and over again is guaranteed to work. Go listen to episode eight and episode three, those episodes are on the purging process that I use in homes of violence.
The purging plan that I use for friends and family and that I would use if I was stuck and I needed a guide on how to purge and what questions to ask myself, when I’m stuck on, should I get rid of this? Should I keep it stuck in that decision making process of what to let go of? What can I toss? What can I donate? And what should I keep? Check out episodes eight and episodes three for a purging plan. Because once you purge thoroughly, your house now can breathe. You have space, you can come up with proper storage locations for everything you can be organized, but it begin with purging. That’s the first step, and then make sure everything has a designated place to keep it another good idea. Something that you might wanna do is if you, if you have a small home and a lot of stuff, or a lot of people living there, it might be a good idea to implement the one in one out rule.
And all that means is a new toy is coming in or something new is coming into the house. Then something else needs to go when something new comes in, it replaces something. One thing comes in. One thing goes out. I know a few families that do that, that really cuts down on the clutter. Overall, when you feel like you have a lot of clutter address things, as soon as you can, if something can take you less than five minutes, then you need to do it now and do not even think about putting it off. It’s easy to procrastinate to think you can get to it later. That’s when the stress happens. That’s when we feel overwhelmed. If you can do it in five minutes or less do it now it’s easy you to set a dish down on the sink or let them pile up.
But then those dishes cause you to feel frustrated and overwhelmed, but it would’ve only taken a few seconds to wish that dish or that cup and put it in the sink, get your whole family on board. If the, your kids are old enough, they should be putting their dishes in the dishwasher, rinsing them, putting em in the dish, dishwasher and helping out. That’s just one example. There’s a lot of things that you can do. If you can do a five minute cleanup at your house to feel better and have a few family members contribute to this, it’s amazing what can happen in five minutes or even 10 minutes, but have in the back of your mind, if this takes less than five minutes, I should just do it now because won’t add to the stress and it won’t add to the to-do list later. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of the intentional edit podcast. This was a tip Tuesday episode where I answer listener questions. If you have a question for me, go to intentional, edit.com and click on the record. Now, button that pops up, leave me your, I will answer it on a future tip Tuesday episode. See you back here later in the week for the next episode of the intentional edit podcast,
That wraps up another quick episode of a tip Tuesday. If you want to be featured on intentional edits, tip Tuesday, go to intentional, edit.com, click on the podcast page in the menu bar, and then scroll all the way down to the bottom. You’ll find a button that says record, tap on that and record your question or share what is currently overwhelming to you. What is going on that you need help with? I want to know, I need to know your struggle so I can share actionable solutions to help you create simplicity in your home. If you are having this issue. I know other people are having it too, and we wanna help as many people as possible. Head over to the podcast page of intentional, edit.com and record your question for me there.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
Intentional Edit participates in select affiliate advertising programs. If you click and/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or any related social media platforms, Intentional Edit may make a commission. All opinions are my own.
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