Posted by: organizationstation | December 3, 2008

My Kids Won’t “Let Go” of their Stuff!

Q.  How do I help my kids learn to “let go” of their unused “stuff”?

Signed: Hanging on for Dear Life.

A. I believe the best way to help teach children to part with thier old treasures, is to invlove them in the process of organizing and purging.  Have them learn the lesson, that you can’t keep bringing items into your home without some of it leaving at some point in time, because your home is only so big.  You are do a disservice to your children if you only purge their belongings when them are gone or asleep.  Get them to make the choices of what stays and what leaves, in regard to their belongings.

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Responses

  1. For my 9 year old son, the task of thinning out his toys seemed like too much work to him and he couldn’t see the benefit. Then I picked one of my rooms that was full of clutter and started thinning out my stuff and organizing the space and sprucing it up by adding decorative touches. (I actually needed the services of a professional organizer to help me to get the ball rolling). I showed him my progress and I was enthusiastic and proud of it. When he asked me how I did it, I explained my processes and motivations. Some of the stuff I was thinning out I saved for a future garage sale. This idea of making a little money on the stuff that you didn’t want anymore was a good motivation for him. My husband, who is a lot less emotionally tied to my son’s stuff, helped him sort it out. His dad didn’t second guess any of his decisions to purge anything. Then I went through all of the garbage to save a few things that they had discarded. Now that the garage sale is over, my son still seems motivated to keep his room more organized. I think setting the example made a big difference. If you don’t have a whole room to organize, maybe you could show your child how thinning out some stuff from one of your kitchen cupboards makes it more functional. Make sure you don’t complain (too much) about how painful the effort is, but instead, set an example of how you can look forward to rewards when you keep your eye on the goal and persistantly and creatively tackle the tasks at hand.

  2. Great ideas ladies. Such a coincidence, since this is what I have been doing this week…cleaning out my kids rooms!!
    I added a few more ideas on the topic in my blog today. Check it out and have a good day!


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