One of the most challenging parts about trying to minimise with a family is decluttering with kids. I imagined, before having kids, that I would not let stuff pile up and keep the kids’ room tidy and clutter free (hahahahaha). But it turns out, it’s just not that easy. They outgrow their clothes ALL the time and toys and books pile up. In addition, as we live in Norway and temperatures during a year goes from 30 below Celsius to 30 above Celsius, we need to be able to dress for both these end points and everything in between (and almost during every month of the year- expect from this year, where we have been given an exceptionally warm summer).
I have often preferred doing decluttering when the kids are somewhere else or asleep, as it tends to become a bit chaotic if I do it when they’re awake. However, I thought I would bring them along this time. On my plan, was to go through their books and their winter clothes.
We first went through most of their books. I put all the books on the floor and I asked them which books they preferred to read. We kept a lot of books, but they decided that some books should be donated to other kids, as we rarely read them, or they are difficult to follow. I, as a mother, obviously had a say in the process, but I did not push too much to get rid of anything they wanted to keep.
Next, we went through their winter clothes. I had made a list of items I wanted us to keep for next winter, but if we had double of some pieces, I let them decide which to keep. They tried on various sweaters and looked at the colours and I told them that it is important that they keep the items they feel comfortable in and which they liked the most. Clearly, when I say I am talking to them, I mostly mean my 6 year old, as my 3 year old tends to go off track in these processes 😛
Nevertheless, I do think that including the kids in the decluttering process can be useful and perhaps help them in the future when they have to deal with clutter. I also hope it can lead to a minimalist way of thinking, that we should keep what we love, use and need, but not more than this.
Do you include your children in the decluttering process? How do you do it? Have you got any useful tips you want to share?