This weekend I went to my twin nephew’s first birthday party. They were adorable of course but as I looked at the dining room table filled with gifts I started to think of the new cycle my sister-in-law has entered. That is the cycle of out with the old and in with the new. While it may be easier to get rid of baby toys while the baby can’t influence your decision it becomes more difficult as children get older and start to voice an opinion on what they want to keep. This is Part 3 of my 4 part series “Tips to Help Children Cut Clutter”. Click here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2. Keep in mind we are looking for ways to motivate your child to part with his or her toys, clothes, etc. that are no longer being used.
3. This for That. This tip may sound like you are only inviting in more clutter, but that is not necessarily the case. “This for that” can be a variety of things. As one of my clients told me, she told her children “if there isn’t any room for new toys Santa will think you have enough and he won’t bring you any more”. She said she was amazed at the things they got rid of and how quickly they moved! Many people try to use birthdays and holidays as a benchmark to help motivate children to reduce their toys. While the timing is great, you have to remember to follow through. It has to be a “this for that”.
The “this for that” method could also be a reward that you incorporate into a Spring or Fall cleaning. You may have an annual Spring Clutter Fling! You spend a few hours going through the toys and clothes and at the end of the day as part of your Spring Clutter Fling tradition you go to your children’s favorite restaurant, ice cream shop, go play putt-putt golf, or go to another fun place. Something that will help the children feel like they are getting a reward for their efforts. Keep in mind in order to keep the clutter reduced this will be most effective if you make the reward an event or activity, a non-clutter reward so to speak.
Use your imagination. You can create your own “this for that” reward as long as it helps motivate your children. Do you have a fabulous “this for that” idea? I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below and share.
Cheers to clutter going out the door!
Copyright (C) 2010 Angela Ploetz, POSH Space www.theposhspace.com.