Baby | Eco Tips | Minimalist Lifestyle | Motherhood | REI/ Montessori Inspired


January 27, 2019

Does it feel like your child’s stuff has completely taken over your home? Are you always cleaning up toys?

Maybe you watched the Marie Kondo show, looked around your home, and decided that it was time to declutter. Living with less has been one of the best decisions we have made as a family. We are able to enjoy the items we love, and not be bombarded with things that don’t “spark joy” (as Marie Kondo says).

Here is a step by step guide to decluttering in a family of kids/babies.

If having a clean healthy home is something important to you and your family, you may love my 10 Ways to Detox The Air In Your Home. 

Step 1. Make it your intention.

This step may seem like you can skip over it, but it’s so critical. As moms, we must have a clear intention for wanting fewer things in our lives. If we set the intention and stick to it, our homes will reflect that. So that means saying no to unnecessary “gifts,” purging the toys that are collecting dust and getting more intentional about the items you bring into your home. Each item should spark joy.

Step 2. Clear out the excess/ Essentials only

You don’t need 40 bottles or 4 wipe warmers, a swing AND a Mamaroo AND a rock-n-play. If you want to eliminate clutter, avoid multiple items on your list aimed at serving the same purpose.  Less = fewer things to clean up.

What are the things that your kids are not interested in anymore?  Maybe you got them a sandbox and now its turned into a place to throw toys in. Perhaps they were into Legos but have grown out of wanting to play with them. Be honest with yourself, do your kids ever reach for this?

If not, you have 3 options.

  1. Have a conversation with them and ask them if it’s okay to let other kids play with this toy since they aren’t using it;
  2. Toy rotate them away and back in to see if it sparks interest later (see more details about toy rotation at step 4)
  3. Make your best judgment call and just donate them to your nearest Goodwill


What toy(s) aren’t developmentally serving them? 

These are the toys you don’t want them to have any more. You know, that one where you press a button and something lights up? Maybe you want something that sparks more creativity. Whatever it is, purge it. It’s not serving your child’s development and it’s not serving your morals as a mommy.

But what if someone gave it to you or you spent a lot of money on it?

Remember mamma, we are decluttering here. The gift has served its purpose in the act of love towards your child and the money is already spent. It is of no use to you if they are weighing you down. They could be much better enjoyed by another family, so pass them along.

Step 3. Minimize the amount of kid stuff/ toys coming into the home.

When you bring something in, bring something in out.

If you have family members or friends who just love to spoil your baby, let them. Just have it be on your terms. A conversation could look something like this, “Hey, we really want a smaller toy collection, and we aren’t looking to expand it. Maybe instead of toys for Grant’s birthday, you can come to take him out for a playdate?”

You need to control what’s coming into your home. If it doesn’t spark joy, its clutter. 

Step 4. Toy rotation / Caddy system

This system has been, by far,  the best toy system we have used for Grant.

Once you have all the toys.  Divide up the toys and group them in a few containers (here are the ones we have)

Every few days or week change up the container you set out for your baby to play with. Once you can see your child isn’t interested in them anymore, switch them out with another small amount of toys. You are simply offering your child a few items to play with. If they’re at an age where they can grab the toy out of the container – even better! Toy discovery is a great development activity.

What we like to do is stash the “bulk” of the toys in an organizer, then, when it feels right, bring out “new” toys and rotate the “older” toys back for Grant to play with. Toy rotation is so beautiful as your child develops, you will see them interact with the toy differently. Maybe when they first received it they just put it in their mouth, then you rotated it out, a month or so passed, and now your child has grown and can shake it and examines every detail as if it was a brand new toy. Toys will be “new” all the time.

I hope that this short guide can help you get started with decluttering your baby’s stuff so you can have a clearer mind. Remember, living with less is not a punishment. It can allow you to free yourself of the weight of “things” and spend more quality time of the things you actually want to be doing and not just picking up after your kids all day.

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