Does your home look like a bombsite when the kids are off school for the Easter break?
One way to keep the children busy over the holidays and reclaim your home from the clutter is to get them involved in your mission to create more space.
If your children are old enough to be at school, they are old enough to take responsibility for their own bedrooms. Buy some toy boxes, baskets or storage solutions and then ask them to organise their stuff into them. Anything that can’t be put away needs to go. This will encourage them to prioritise their stuff so they keep the things they really love. Encourage them to sort the excess things into piles – one for rubbish or broken toys which can be thrown away, one for items to be donated to charity and another for belongings they have outgrown which could be passed on to a younger sibling, family member or friend. By asking them to make the choices themselves, they will feel happier and more in control of the decluttering process. Obviously, younger children may need a bit more supervision and help to ensure the right things make it into the right piles.
Donating things you used to care about can be tough but it is easier if you know they are going to a good cause. Help your children find out more about the good causes which benefit from any charity shops or collections in the local area. Let them choose which charities they want to benefit from their old things. This will help them feel more positive about saying goodbye to things they care about and teach them a valuable lesson about those who are less fortunate than them. You could also clear out your kitchen cupboards and take non-perishable items to food banks. Warm blankets, sleeping bags and unwanted jumpers and winter coats are often welcomed by homeless shelters and may free up some cupboard space.
One way to get the kids on board is to set small tasks they can complete for a treat or reward. It may be that you will take them to the cinema if they help you clear out the garden shed or you might offer them some extra pocket money for assisting you in sorting out the cupboard under the stairs. Whatever it is, make sure you are clear about what you expect from them and what they will get in return. Setting challenges like this throughout the holidays spreads the workload and will help you make some real progress at home.
It isn’t always easy to completely declutter as so many of our belongings have sentimental value. There may also be items that you know will come in handy in the future even if they are not in regular use right now. Using self storage is a great way of getting these things out of your home to make space without having to part with them forever. If you decide to use a self storage unit, let your children choose if there are any items they would like to keep in it. It may be a much-loved doll’s house that they have outgrown but want to keep for the future or they may want to save mementos from when they were tiny. Andrew Porter Ltd’s Self Store is a really convenient and affordable way of keeping hold of the things that matter to you without having to find space for them at home.