How to get your children to help spring clean...

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...and de-clutter their rooms. There are a number of tips to help get children involved in de-cluttering.Understanding the age of your child and breaking the de-cluttering process into different steps so that they can participate age appropriately will help.

Start with only clothes, then move to toys etc. Here are a few to help you get started:


  • Most children understand the concept of sharing especially with children who have less than them. Ask them to look at toys they no longer place with and encourage them to donate to another child. It is wonderful to see a child’s face light up when they realize the goods in the donate box will make another child happy.
  • Encourage children to identify toys that are broken but can be fixed and encourage them to help fix the toy. The idea that anything broken can simply be thrown away and easily replaced is indicative of a consumerist society and can lead to spending unnecessary money. Children value things more that can last even if it has to be fixed.
  • If necessary separate their toys into categories e.g. dolls with dolls, cars with cars etc. Having see through boxes or large zip lock bags allows the child to easily see where his or her toy is and makes it easy for them to identify where the toy needs to go after they have finished playing with it. See through boxes also saves mom from having to label the storage boxes. Try to buy boxes that match in size as this makes storing the boxes easier and has a more organized feel in the room. Make sure that the boxes are light enough for the child to carry around if necessary.
  • Allocate an empty small see through box to each child which can become their messy box for toys they want to keep together or are playing with that week. This box can be de-cluttered once a week in order to make space for a new selection of toys the following week.
  • If the children receive or buy more toys try to instill the rule of one in - one out. The toy going out can be one of the donated toys. If the child doesn’t want to let go of a toy then it is also good for them to understand how to recognize the emotional difference between need and want and that being satisfied with what you have is emotionally mature. There is always another day to buy more toys!


  • When de-cluttering the children’s clothing cupboards first make sure the clothing fits. Anything that is too small can be donated. The children can try their own clothes on and help decide.
  • Make sure the rest of the clothes will last the season and are in good order.
  • Choose a good outfit for each day of the week. Children tend to choose clothes form the top of the pile so having too many sets of clothes is an unnecessary expense.

Study areas:

  • Study areas should have good lighting and an open, un-cluttered area large enough for books and space to write.
  • Occasionally older children can go through their pencil cases and throw out pencils that are too small or any broken pens.
  • Making de-cluttering a family affair and getting the kids involved in donating helps them to learn about sharing, kindness, generosity and empathy. It is also important to learn that the life cycle of all goods has a beginning and an end.  The concepts of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle will then become second nature to them and at the end of the day they will have developed great social skills. With lots of practice de-cluttering will become part of the children’s routine. They will also realize that with more space and more time they will have more fun with what they have.
Last modified on Thursday, 17 August 2017 04:40