Monday, January 28, 2013

Kid Bedroom Clean-Up

My daughter's birthday is at the end of November. Then there's Christmas. So for about a month, there is a steady stream of new toys flowing into our house. We organized a little before her birthday, but it wasn't enough, and pretty soon, her room and our house became overwhelmed with kid stuff.

The worst part was the fighting with her. Everyday was a fight to get her to clean her room. And after a couple of weeks, it finally dawned on me that the problem wasn't Sophie. It was us. Instead of limiting the amount of things she could have in her room, we let her have everything all at once, and it was just too much for a 5 year-old to manage.

So this past weekend, while Sophie was with her dad, Ryan and I took matters into our own hands and completely cleaned out her room. We removed EVERYTHING and separated her things into 3 piles before deciding what would go back in her room.

1. Favorites/Rotate

These are the toys she plays with regularly. But instead of putting all of her favorites back in her room, we put a few of each out and the rest we put in boxes in the top of her closet. Each week, she gets the option of exchanging toys/books/baby dolls out for different ones or she can keep the ones out that she has.

2. Yard Sale

Some toys, no matter how cute, just never take. Those were boxed up and put in the attic until spring when we have a yard sale.

3. Pitch

Broken toys and months-old crushed art projects got thrown away.

The result? Order.

The biggest difference was the bookshelf. Picking out a book before bedtime used to be a 20 minute ordeal. There were just too many options. Last night was a cake walk. She had a book picked out within a minute.

Barbies also used to be an issue for the same reason: too many choices. So I picked out her 3 favorites and that's what she gets to play with for the week. Next week, she can choose to keep those same three or pick three different ones.

Sophie is super artsy and her room was usually covered in paper and craft supplies. So Ryan and I added a shelf in her closet that would act as her art station. All of her supplies and paper were there and out of the way. There was even a spot for finished projects which we will clean out every week. In the meantime, all of the mess is out of sight. There's even room below the shelf for other toys.

Now I will admit, after being so used to having all of her toys around her all the time, she was very concerned when she first walked in about where her toys went. Once we showed her where we put them and explained  how the new system would work, she was actually pretty excited about it.

More order, less fighting. That's all I want. I'm looking forward to seeing how well it works in the weeks to come!

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and Savvy Southern Style, Debbiedoos, Between Naps on the Porch


  1. Hmmm. . . . I might try this. . . I have 3 boys and 2 of them are toy crazy and their rooms are always trashed. Thanks for the great suggestions.

    1. You're welcome! 3, I can't imagine!

  2. Nice work! I like your weekly swapping out system. Having that choice is key for us to avoid meltdowns with my 3.5 year old step-son :)

    We just celebrated our son's first birthday last week, so we've got the Christmas & birthday toy over load too. It doesn't help that he also has all of my step-son's hand me down toys, and that both grandma's like to spoil the kids rotten!

    1. I hear ya Ali! I don't remember having this much stuff when I was a kid, did you? I know my grandparents were much more conservative with the gift giving.

  3. Eureka, good for you. Many years ago children had very little toys, they got one for a b/d and another for Christmas and somehow did just fine with that. This encourages children to use their imaginations much more and be grateful & happy with what they have. They have just so much attention span and then frustration sets in and boredom. They become way too overwhelmed with too much. So great you realized that. Sounds like a great system to try out. Proud of you.

  4. Love the Dave Ramsey piggy banks!!! :)