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Clutter Control

One of the most difficult things to manage in our world of over consumption is clutter!  We own too much, but are convinced we should buy more.

It is hard enough to keep our own stuff organized and under control, but even harder to keep our children’s rooms and closets organized.  They have too much stuff and they don’t want to get rid of anything…

One of the most effective ways I found to help my children organize their rooms was to play a game we called “Trash or Treasure”.

Every few weeks I would randomly say, “Time for Trash or Treasure!”  This meant I would go with my daughter to her room and spend one on one time with her sorting.  It might be clothes, it might be the under the bed stash, or the items on the book shelf.

The activity itself  is simple:  just hold up each item, one at a time, and ask, “Trash or treasure?”  The hardest part is to reserve your own judgement and let your child make the choice.  I never questioned their choice, I just simply put the item in the designated pile.  If they seemed unsure I would ask questions such as “do you use this?” or “when was the last time you used this?” or “why is this important to you?”  The idea was simply to ask a thought provoking question and help them to evaluate the items importance.

I was repeatedly amazed at what they chose to donate or throw away.  The lessons I hope they learned are:  you should sort through your things every few weeks – we all accumulate too much, and it is okay to get rid of things – you don’t have to keep everything.

The side benefit – one on one time with each child.  Surprisingly, my  kids really liked the activity and even began to request it on their own – in fact as teenagers, they sometimes still say, “Mom, when can we play Trash or Treasure?”

Do you have a great way to keep your kid’s clutter at bay?  If you do, please comment below!

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