January Jumpstart: Kiss Clutter Goodbye
Even though spring cleaning gets all the attention, we happen to think that winter is the PERFECT time to get organized. Why? You’re cooped up indoors with piles of excess and post-holiday clutter. Why not stave off cabin fever by putting the family to work and knocking off that to-do list in advance of the good weather to come? So pick a Saturday, wear your comfiest sweats, crank up some tunes and get ready to kiss clutter goodbye with our handy January Jumpstart guide! We’re focusing on two challenging areas for families with young kids: the playroom and the kitchen. So let’s get started!
When you can’t cross from one side of the playroom to the other without stepping on blocks and toy cars, it’s time to take some serious action. This three-step process works best.
- Step 1: Toss: Get yourself a big garbage bag and throw out anything that’s pure junk. Think broken crayons, dolls with missing limbs, tangled play jewelry, board games with half the pieces missing—that type of thing. If it can’t be salvaged or donated, into the trash bag it goes.
- Step 2: Purge: Next, take a large bin and fill it with items you’d like to donate. Outgrown books and stuffed animals are a great place to start, but also try to pinpoint items your kids have simply lost interest in. Gathering donations together is a great way to teach kids about giving back as a family. If your kids get suddenly territorial about a toy they haven’t played with in months, let them keep it, but ask them to choose a different toy to donate instead.
- Step 3: Sort: Now comes the fun part—sorting! Get kids into the good practice of keeping all similar items together. All trains and tracks in one bin. All doll clothes and accessories in another bin. All play food and serving ware in another bin. You get the idea! We find labeling each bin with words or pictures adds an extra layer of compliance and makes it almost like a game for kids to keep things in place…at least for a little while.
For many families, the kitchen functions as the hub of the home, becoming part office, part homework station and part craft space—in addition to being the place where you cook and serve meals. Because of this, clutter piles up very quickly! Here’s how to get a handle on it.
- Make Family Inboxes: Head to the office supply store to pick up a simple “inbox” for each member of the family and label it with the owner’s name. The box will become that person’s go-to place for mail, bills, homework, permission slips and other miscellaneous paperwork. Each person should learn to become responsible for checking and managing their inboxes regularly.
- Streamline Your Cabinets: No one needs 117 coffee mugs. Take inventory of your cups, plates and bowls and donate items that rarely (if ever) get used. Nest items inside each other for easier stacking, and stash away China or special holiday pieces in a separate area so they don’t clutter up your everyday storage space.
- Create an Edited Snack Stash: Instead of crowding your pantry with a dozen different boxed snacks, create a snack jar for your countertop. Take a large, clear jar and fill it with individual sized bags of pretzels, popcorn, veggie straws—and, of course, Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks—so your kids can easily grab and go.
Happy organizing from all of us at Go Organically! Made with real fruit, our gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free kids snacks are a great choice for your on-the-go life. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more kid-friendly ideas!