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Before you disassemble the Christmas tree…

Before you find places to tuck away everyone’s new clothes and toys…

Before you feel that sigh of accomplishment after putting your whole home back in order…

Now’s a good time to dig into storage spaces and clean ‘em out!

Clean Out the Closets – A New Game?

It’s good to relax after the busy holidays, so don’t feel like you have to completely overhaul every space in your home. A practical way to think about decluttering (and then maintaining it) is to make it an ongoing effort instead of periodic all-day events. Today, just tackle some closets.

Make closet cleaning into a game and challenge the kids to do their closets, too, as fast as possible! Set the stopwatch and everyone run off to gather each of the below and throw them in a pile in the living room. Everyone must bring at least one item to the pile after you call out the category. Ready? Set. Go!

  • Find clothing that’s way too small.

  • Find clothing that’s way too big.

  • Find clothing that’s too damaged to wear or repair.

  • Find broken and unusable items.

  • Find anything you haven’t used in so long that you forgot you owned it!

Help the Kids Clean Out Their Toy Storage

Many parents have a standing rule with the kids that for each new toy they receive for Christmas (or a birthday), they must remove a toy from their current collection to give away. There may not be a way to gamify this organizational effort. This is hard when you’re a kid! But, it can be an opportunity help them learn about sharing with others and how to think about wants vs. needs. We all want things that are fun but not necessary and there are others just like us who don’t even have everything they need. Sharing our extra toys gives kids with very little a chance to play and have fun, too.

Unloading Your Extras

There are many charities that accept the stuff you’re not using, some will even come to your home to pick it all up! Just do a web search for “charities that pick up donations for free.” Just be sure your items are in usable condition. Things that are broken and damaged need to be thrown out or recycled.

If you can spare the time, it’s nice to look for specialized charities that accept specific items and distribute them to people who need them. If you have…

Donating things you don’t need to those who do is a kind way of considering others (while repurposing stuff instead of thowing it away). Charity giving usually drops over holidays. By adding decluttering and donating to your calendar after Christmas, and throughout the year, you can help fill their needs gaps while organizing your space.