Out with the old and in with the new. As a mom, I struggle to keep up with all of the stuff that finds its way into our car and home. From the plastic toys that come in fast food meals to clothes to new toys the kids get for Christmas, it doesn’t take long to get knocked down by an avalanche of stuff.
Here are some tips for Stuff Management:
1. Useless Plastic Toys. Avoid useless plastic toys that come with kiddie meals. At places like Chic-fil-A, you can exchange the toy for an ice cream. The ice cream also is a great incentive to get your kids to eat their nuggets and fruit.
2. Mail. Open the mail near the garbage can. Trash or recycle as much as you can. For the keepers (for me – bills and catalogs/magazines). I make two piles and put the catalogs in my magazine rack and the bills go to my desk.
3. Toys. I feel a HUGE sense of accomplishment when my kids graduate from a large plastic toy. ( I hear Pomp and Circumstance in my head). What do you do if they haven’t graduated from big toys like that? I find that if our areas with toys are overly crowded the kids don’t play with the toys. We are fortunate enough to have a decent attic, so I actually rotate toys. It keeps the clutter down and the kids are always excited to see their “new” toys again when I cycle them back through.
4 . School Stuff. There is a ridiculous amount of paper that comes homefrom school in my child’s backpack. This has become a two-part process. When my child gets home from school, we look at her schoolwork and talk about it. (I secretly organize it as we look at it into keep and toss piles). I get rid of the toss pile when she has gone to bed. Hence the two-part process. I only keep the best schoolwork and I put it in a three-ring binder. School stuff that requires action goes to my desk.
5. Kids Clothes. Keep a plastic tote or a box in the closet and when you are putting laundry away and see something that doesn’t fit anymore (or is so stained you don’t want your kid to wear it), just toss it in. When it is full, take it to a charity, give it to a friend, or tag it for a consignment sale.
6. Your clothes. Clean out your closet from time to time. Sell what you can at consignment and donate the rest. Most consignment shops also take accessories. I’ve also heard that you should hang all your hangers in one direction and then when you wear something hang it the other way, so you know what you really don’t wear.
What do you do to keep ahead of the clutter?