Birmingham Moms! Let's Conquer the Kid Clutter!

by Amber Bordelon

I’m fairly certain that my children aren’t the only ones who have too. much. stuff. When we bought our house as a newly married couple, it seemed spacious and comfortable. Fast forward 5 years and 2 sons later, and I’m being buried alive by onesies and toy trains. My poor husband will testify that I regularly freak out and begin to frantically clean
and de-clutter (especially after watching an episode of “Hoarders”, but that is another story). So what are some things that I do to keep it all manageable and have a nice home that doesn’t look like a daycare center?

1. Prevention is the best medicine. After one trip to register at Babies R Us, I was certain that we didn’t have space for all of the equipment that comes along with a baby. Swings, bouncy seats, exersaucers, high chairs….where was I going to put it?

So I did two things:

1. I polled friends who were already mommies to determine what I REALLY needed vs. what was just the latest gimmick

2. For those items that were essentials, I tried to find compact or dual purpose models. For example, my high chair is this compact seat that sits on a regular kitchen chair and goes all the way from reclining for the baby food stage to a booster for a toddler. 

I also love this little space saver that hooks onto your kitchen table. Genius.

2. Call off the Grandparents. My oldest son was the first grandchild on both sides of the family, and everyone was understandably excited. I just don’t have the space to contain all of their “excitement” (wagons, 4 wheelers, bikes, jumpy houses). We’ve started asking the grands to  give gift cards, donate to the college funds, or pay for experiences
like lessons, sports, the circus, seeing Thomas the Train at the local railroad museum, etc. They are more than happy to do this and love hearing about the kids’ fun adventures.
3. Purge Regularly. Little happy meal toys. Party favors that are no longer interesting. Broken pieces of toys they haven’t played with in a year. With these things, I just purge, purge, purge. I must add, though, that this is best done at
nap time or when they are at school. My older son may have completely forgotten about that little toy, but if he sees me about to get rid of it, it is a TREASURE that he just NEEDS! I promise, this isn’t mean. They have plenty of toys. Some of this junk is just collecting dust. Decide if it needs to be trashed or if you could donate it. Many local
organizations, like Hannah Homes, will come pick it up from your house.
4. Rotate out the toys. One of the best ideas I’ve heard is to swap out toys so that your kids don’t always have access to all of their toys. Keep a closet where you can stow toys, then rotate them monthly–your kids will feel like it’s Christmas when the new ones come out. They’ll probably never miss what’s in storage.
5. Label and Sort. For those items that you do keep, I am a huge fan of baskets and labels. I have baskets for trains, baskets for balls, baskets for art supplies, baskets for blocks. Everything can be put up neatly on bookshelves. I love this one, the Expedit from IKEA, featured on the blog Young House. Love.

Having their stuff organized in baskets also helps at clean-up time. Even the little ones can learn to sort and put things away in designated places. So those are some of my simple methods for maintaining my sanity. If anyone else has good ideas, please chime in. My OCD self would love to hear them!

To read more from Amber, visit her blog “Blooming in the South”

One thought on “Birmingham Moms! Let's Conquer the Kid Clutter!

  1. I stole the rotating toys idea from a friend! We try to keep a few of the things bought for our daughter (birthdays, holidays, no reason) packaged up in the closet. She’s still too young to care about her toys really…but it’s a good habit to get into!

    Also, we participate in a HUGE local consignment sale twice a year. Actually dropping off all our old baby items tomorrow! Cannot wait to get all that crap (ermp lovely baby stuff) out of my house 🙂

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