Simplifying reduces stress.
Not just for us, but also for our kids.
With 4 little ones in the house our home is anything but calm and serene. We are a loud bunch (sorry neighbors!) Someone is always running or jumping off of the furniture, someone is usually crying, someone is always singing, and on top of that, there’s usually some bickering/laughing/fighting mixed in there too.
As someone who prefers calm, quiet and peaceful environments, I’ve had to get creative with ways to bring more peace and calm into our home.
One of the ways I do that is by trying to keep our toys and kids stuff as simple as possible. I’m not an extreme minimalist by any means, but I read a book called Simplicity Parenting after having my first child 7 years ago and it had a huge impact on the way I think about toys and what choose to keep in our home.
I strive to take a “less is more” approach and honestly, it can be hard! Toys and things just seem to fill up the house no matter what I do, which is why this month we’re focusing on simplifying and decluttering as our off-the-mat mission in The Balanced Life Sisterhood.
A few things I do to keep the kids clutter at bay:
- Toy rotation: we have 3 big plastic bins in the garage that we use to store toys that don’t fit in our toy basket in the living room. We rotate these out on occasion which not only helps to reduce clutter in the house but it also keeps the kids interested in their toys because when something new comes out of the bin it feels new and inspires them to play!
- Regular toy clean outs: before birthdays and holidays we do family toy clean outs. The kids (who are older than 2) get to decide what they keep and what they give away to a family in need as they make space for the new gifts that will be arriving soon.
- Crafts and items that come home from school have a special spot on a shelf and we keep them there long enough to be enjoyed. And then once the kids forget about them or lose interest – out they go! (I do keep the sweet & special art work in a plastic storage bin in our closet, but I try to be very selective in what I keep and upload the rest to artkive)
If you’re a parent, you know that the more toys around the house, the more we have to pick up. I’d rather use that time relaxing, doing Pilates, reading a book so I’ve found that keeping toys simple not only encourages more creativity and outdoor play for my kids, but it also makes it easier for all of us to keep the home feeling somewhat organized and clutter-free.
I also hosted a live chat with my friend, Allie Casazza, where we talked ALL about practical tips to de-clutter and de-stress. You can watch the replay here!
PS – Full disclosure: My daughter LOVES to play and will spend entire days in imaginative play. In those times I fully let her make a mess with her pretend world because that’s exactly the kind of play I hope to foster in our home. I let her run wild, as long as she helps to clean it up 😉