Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again… today we’re going to talk about “The Need to Declutter”.
The Need to Declutter?
We moved to Hawaii 5 years ago now, and we’ve lived in this house for about 3 years now. When we first moved to Hawaii, it was just me, my wife, and baby Kylie. We didn’t have much of our own stuff since we lived in a furnished condo. Kylie had her toys, but we had enough room to manage all of her toys.
Then Lucas was born and we moved into the new house. Being a house, it was a little bigger than our condo and we began to acquire more “stuff”. A little after Lucas was born my in-laws came to live with us, but for the most part they didn’t bring that much with them since we didn’t have room for it.
However, now it’s been some years and the kids are getting older and we’ve been accumulating more and more junk — especially toys. This has been compounded by the fact that the majority of their toys are on the first floor in their “play area” which is a pretty good size area. The rationale for this is because they don’t really play in their bedrooms so there were only a few toys in their individual bedrooms.
For the most part, their bedrooms don’t have much in them at all. However, Kylie just turned 6 years old and now she has her own full size bed. I was a little cautious about buying a mattress online, but I found this mattress and frame for a reasonable price (and Prime) and decided to give it a shot:
Overall, we’ve been pretty happy with it. It was easy to set up and Kylie likes it.
However, our major concern for Kylie was that she tends to roll around on the bed a lot so I didn’t want it to be too high off the ground in case she was to fall off. So, just in case, we’ve installed these for now:
We used to use them at the condo for the short time when Lucas was just born and Kylie was sleeping on the big queen bed there.
We also let Kylie choose her own sheets and pillows and she chose these:
We figured letting her chose some of the items on her bed would help with transitioning her into her own room. Kylie and Lucas previously slept in the same room, Kylie in a small bed and Lucas in a toddler bed. It took a little bit of reassurance, but now she sleeps in her own room without a problem.
Having her own night light (purple) helped:
Well, we’re kind of getting off topic now, but the point of all that was to explain that the kids are now in their own separate rooms. As such, I thought it was time to start decluttering the upstairs and moving some of their toys downstairs into their respective rooms.
So I told Kylie to separate her dolls out into “upstairs dolls” for the play area and “downstairs dolls” for her room. She’s old enough to know what she wants and where she wants it, since she understands the toys in her room will mainly be for playing with before bed and when she wakes up in the morning.
Since Lucas can’t really decide this kind of stuff, I’ve taken to just moving some of the bigger stuff that “goes together” downstairs. For example, he has this big PJ Masks Fortress thing which my in-laws bought him for Christmas. He loves it, but it’s kind of fallen by the wayside since he has other “newer” toys to play with now. So I moved that downstairs with all the other PJ Mask toys so they are all in one place downstairs. Additionally, I moved their Lego table downstairs into his room too since he has seemed to become more interested in Legos as well.
This is big stuff that was just clogging up the upstairs that they weren’t really using. However, as you would expect now that it is in “full view” of them, they want to play with their stuff after their showers and before bed now. It’s kind of like the idea of “rotating toys” in and out so things always seem new to the kids.
That said, this is only the beginning of decluttering. There are a lot of things that I am going to start moving into a pile of “throwing out”. If the kids either don’t notice or don’t care about them, then I plan to either donate them (if in good condition) or throw them out.
Marie Kondo (KonMari) has become famous for being the “declutter” queen and her famous thing is holding an object and asking “Does this spark joy?” If the answer is no, then throw it out. It’s very binary and simplistic, but it makes a lot of sense.
However, I’m not quite at that level. I think something like that is especially difficult for children to do, since they tend to be impulsive and make snap decisions one way or another without understanding the repercussions. As such, I’m going to try to be the mediator between them and this idea and declutter their play area.
Eventually I’d like to move most of their toys to one corner and try to organize their books a bit better in the other corner. Then eventually, once Lucas starts piano and both he and Kylie decide to stick with it long term, then we may invest in a piano for that area.
Then there are the “old” things that we need to donate or get rid of, like high chairs, cribs, toddler beds, and baby baths. Most likely sometime this summer I’ll throw all that out at one time by scheduling a bulk pickup.
Marie Kondo says you should do this kind of thing in one well swoop and just dedicate a weekend to getting rid of everything. However, I don’t think I can do that quite yet.
The Need to Declutter is here.
The kids are in their own rooms now and I’m trying to move and separate their toys a little to reclaim some space upstairs.
I’m not quite Marie Kondo, but I think these things take time, especially when kids are involved.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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