I have taken on the task of decluttering the daycare room of toys and craft supplies. Like your children’s toys and items, over the years things build up because, well, I really don’t like decluttering, especially when it comes to my daughter’s stuff. It takes a long time, it never seems to be clean and clutter-free for long, and I can’t stand the mess that decluttering makes. But, the purge and the way you feel when the work is done is something that can’t be replaced.
While I am no expert, I definitely have some tips that I would like to suggest to my readers.
1. Get ready to be in it for the long haul.
It seems like decluttering and purging is a never-ending task – especially if you have children that are constantly messing it up. Regardless of if you have children trying to plot your ultimate demise or not, decluttering takes time and it will probably leave you frustrated at times. Keep going! With every one thing you throw away or put away you are one step closer to finishing!
2. If your child hasn’t played with it for more than a year, it’s probably time to get rid of it.
If you have found items that have been shoved in the corner or put at the bottom of the toy chest to be forgotten forever, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Unless your child has been actively looking for it forever, your child probably won’t miss it. You should probably make sure your child doesn’t see it when you’re getting rid of it though, that’s a battle that I try to avoid all the time. But, if it holds too much sentimental meaning and you can’t stand the thought of being rid of it forever, stick it in a box and put it in storage or your garage.
3. Set small goals
If you know that you aren’t going to finish in one set amount of time, set small goals for yourself. For me, when I’m organizing and decluttering bins in the daycare, I set myself a small goal of 2 or 3 bins a session, depending on how long the session is and how full the bins are. I’m still decluttering the daycare room and I’ve been at it all week. Today, my goal is to put away all of our craft supplies and I’m on the right track to finish that goal. Setting smaller goals will help make the bigger task seem less threatening. At least for me, when I just keep the big picture in mind, it can be daunting and I end up frustrated.
4. Know when to quit
I don’t mean quit the whole project, but if you feel yourself starting to get frustrated, walk away. Take a break and come back to it a little later. If you feel overwhelmed and frustrated, chances are you’re not going to declutter very well. Go at your own pace, even if it seems like you’re not getting anything done, trust me, you are. You are doing a great job! Keep it up!
5. Reward yourself
Hey you! The person who has now finished decluttering. Go reward yourself. Let yourself lounge on the couch for a while. Revel in the fact that you usually are only supposed to declutter once a year. Ignore the fact that you haven’t decluttered the rest of the house, you did one decluttering and that’s good for now. Be sure to reward yourself to give yourself something to look forward to when you are decluttering and something to relax and heighten that “you did it” experience when it’s all over.
Like I said earlier, I’m still not done decluttering the daycare room, let alone the rest of the house, but these tips have definitely helped me in the decluttering process. What are some decluttering tips you have? Share with the rest of the world and we can all become decluttering masters!