Spring cleaning week 6: Kick the kid clutter

Amy Langle

It’s the final week of our 6 Weeks of Spring Cleaning series! Anyone with children knows that the toys and clothes of all sizes seem to multiple each week. Before you begin to the enjoy the lazy days of Summer (we can dream right?), finish your Spring cleaning by organizing the kids’ rooms and play areas. Amy Langle shares the STOP Clutter Method, perfect for getting – and keeping – the kid’s clutter under control. 


Nursery | Sacramento, CA
Nursery | Sacramento, CA

Is your child’s room overflowing with outgrown clothes and too many toys and stuffed animals to count? If so, then it is time to de-clutter and simplify. Does this sound easier said than done? Depending on the child’s age, they may not know that you made some changes. If you have oder kids, then get them  involved. It’s a great way for them to understand the process and help when cleaning up on a day-to-day basis.

I suggest using the STOP clutter method. It is well-known for its efficiency and really does work. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Organized by Cynthia Ewer explains:

The STOP clutter method is an easy way to help you make the other-wise difficult decisions about your clutter. Working with short bites of time, STOP clutter session force decision making, bring order to a space, and ensure that the survivors are all organized and put away before the session is over. The name helps you remember the stops to this clutter-clearing method. To STOP clutter, follow this sequence: 

 SORT items into needed and unneeded categories.
TOSS unneeded items into collection boxes.
ORGANIZE the survivors.
PUT AWAY out-of-place items. 

Bedroom | Miami, FL
Bedroom | Miami, FL

Supplies needed: timer, boxes, garbage bags, lidded plastic shoeboxes or stackable containers.

Time each segment in 15-minute increments. Ready… set… GO!

1. Sort

Start with a section of the room, shelf or drawer. Pick up an item and ask your child the question: Is this something we want to keep, to put away, to give away, or throw away? There may be some resistance from your child, so give them choices and options. Let them feel like they are in charge of making the decision. Show them three similar items and let them know they can choose the one they like best to keep.

2. Toss

When the timer bell rings, reset and begin to toss the trash. This is also the time to sort the items you will sell, giveaway or donate into the designated boxes or bins.

3. Organize

Sort the keepers and separate like with like. This is a good organizational learning tool for children. Use clear boxes with lids so that your child can see what’s inside.

4. Put away

Stack and store the newly sorted kid’s toys.

Playroom | Seattle, WA
Playroom | Seattle, WA

Professional organizer and event planner, Amy Langle, was born to organize. From companies looking to streamline to busy moms wanting to simplify, Amy loves helping clients organize their lives. Learn more at amylangle.com.

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