Hello! Another week, another Blog Post ... I'm excited to tell you I have become very fond of this de - cluttering thing! I have continued this week to minimize other areas of my home, and have been so pleased with the results.
Apart from the Kitchen, another major space in my house is the Children's Play Room ... now to give you some context before I unleash what I did to de - clutter this area ... I will let you know I have three girls aged 6 (almost 7), 5 and 3. It's fair to say, there is a lot of pink in my house and just as many dolls and prams! Minimizing the Playroom was motivated by a constant feeling of picking up toys! The incredible mess that happens in that space on a daily basis, and the level of overwhelm it creates both for me and the girls.
After the success of the kitchen, I was on a role ... this playroom was about to change!
I will say ... I am so disappointed with myself ... as I totally forgot to take a before photo!! It would have been so great to show you a comparison! But I guess you'll just have to take my word for it, when I tell you I filled an entire car boot full of things from the Play Room, and I have a big boot! The only way was to be was ruthless, as I had done in the kitchen area, I needed to be thorough! Setting aside an entire day was essential for me ... being able to clean, sort and organize, as I went along, was important!
I bet you're wondering about my Children's reaction ?? Did I do it when they weren't home ... ?? Did I sneak things out of the house ?? Well, the answer is ... a little of yes and a little of no. I involved the girls as much as I could. I took the time to explain to the 6 and 5 year old, what I was doing and why I was doing it. I asked them to pick two favorite dolls each, and then explained that we would be donating the others so that other little girls could enjoy them. When it came to the 3 year old ... it was a completely different story! I had to smuggle things out when she wasn't looking! Haha. And guess what ,,, she hasn't missed any of the things I removed! In fact as soon as I had finished clearing the clutter ... she was instantly drawn to the area and played for hours!
It's so easy to get caught up in buying for our kids ... but just providing children with the space and time to play is so important. Giving them lots of toys to play with, actually has the opposite effect. Children don't need more things, they need opportunity to use their imagination.
Let me be clear ... I am in no way an expert on Minimizing, on Children, or on Toys ... haha. But what I can tell you is, I instantly noticed the benefits of having less. Cleaning up the Play Room now only takes minutes ... instead of a whole Sunday afternoon! And furthermore the task of tidying up is so much more achievable now, that the girls have been able to complete this task themselves. Another major bonus to having less! They are also more engaged with each other whilst playing and appear to enjoy the clearing space to play. I also removed 'Toy Boxes' ... all but one ... I kept one for the dress ups ... everything else now has a place on shelves. Easy to look at, grab and put away!
I want to share with you ... my tips for de - cluttering Toys ... with each item I kept these questions is mind:
- Is it in good working order, no missing parts or broken pieces?
- Does it promote creativity and use of imagination?
- Does it help exert excess energy or have a smoothing / calming affect for the child?
- Double ups: is there a need for more than one of these items, will it cause fights between siblings if we only had one?
- Do the children love to play with it / do they have an emotional connection to the toy?
You'll notice that when addressing each item, I do not consider the cost of the item, how long we have had it, or who had given it to us. Because quite frankly these things are irrelevant when trying to minimize clutter. Plus you'll probably find that the most expensive toys do nothing to promote creative play, and the most simple ones is actually what's needed.
But regardless, no matter what you decide to keep, donate or throwaway ... you'll be delighted by the results of having less! This is one situation where less is definitely more!
Well, as they say the proof is in the pudding ... I feel lighter (just figuratively unfortunately) ... I feel more organized ... and overall less stressed. I think there's really something to this Minimalism thing ... and I intend on exploring it further! I'll be sure to keep you posted!
Thanks for reading, your Semi Minimalist,