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Spring Cleaning: Kids Edition

Spring Cleaning: Kids Edition

“Having kids won’t disrupt the beauty of my home!”

Before my first son arrived in July, I held tight to this belief.

I was so careful of the toy esthetic I chose for my baby registry and made sure to tell everyone about it. My baby Pinterest board was overflowing with neutral colors, and my husband and I were convinced the baby’s belonging wouldn’t change the calm and tidy nature of our living spaces.

Then, slowly but surely, the stuff began to take over. Bassinets, bouncers, walkers, activity mats, teethers, and toys that were bright green, yellow, blue, red…

This is not what we had planned!

However, when our beautiful baby boy arrived, maintaining our living space esthetic dream quickly lost its urgency. I could have easily classified our home as a disaster zone during the first newborn survival months, but day by day, our son’s “stuff” became a natural and welcomed view in our home.

Something I didn’t quite expect though, was exactly how quickly he would outgrow these newly acquired belongings. Eight months later, the bassinets and newborn clothing have been put away and replaced with sit-to-stand toys and 12-month clothing (you can stop growing up so quickly, bud!). This in turn creates many opportunities for me to organize and re-home his things.

Here are some simple steps to begin to “take back” your spaces this spring:

Take a Look Around…

Before tackling the task of organizing, begin by taking a good look around each room. Open the closets and check in the drawers (even if it’s scary!), and ask yourself the following:

  • Is this currently being used or worn?
  • Does my child like this? Or better, do I even like this?!
  • Can this be put somewhere else?

Purge, Baby, Purge!

Consider items that you know deep down you never use or do not necessarily care for and place them in a box to sell or donate. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to start. When I’ve offered shipping on Facebook Marketplace items, I’ve noticed my items sell a lot more quickly, especially clothing!

Or, try consigning or donating! Some of my favorite consignment shops for kids’ items are Puddle Jumpers in Marion and Stuff Etc. in Cedar Rapids. A great community organization to donate to is Young Parents Network in Cedar Rapids. Their We Care Shop is an incentive-based program that allows families to earn points to purchase much-needed items. Additionally, if you know someone who is expecting or fosters children, consider re-homing some of your tried-and-true gear to people in your circle who would be able to use it.

You can still place items in a designated box even if you’re not quite ready to get rid of them. Give it a couple of months and see if you noticed they were ever gone in the first place. Most of the time, you won’t notice their absence but rather, the presence of more space!

Organize Your Spaces

Now that you have sorted through your items, it’s time to organize your current spaces to meet your needs. Pinterest has a plethora of organizational hacks and ideas. I love to start there to see what I might already own that can be used to organize toys, clothes, and other belongings. Also, have you checked out Target lately?! They are definitely catering to the spring-cleaning crowd with the baskets and bins they currently have out on their sales floor. And hey, no trip to Target is complete without the Dollar Spot, which currently has the cutest small space organizational décor!

Sort, Label, and Store

Many items for our children are only applicable for a short season of growth and development. It’s time to pack away what’s not currently being used. Start by sorting these items into piles by age. Then, continue to sort into categories: puzzles, musical toys, crayons, dress-up clothes, etc. Try to group as many “like” items as possible and store them together. My favorite way to store is in clear totes so I can easily see what is in them. I also add a piece of clear packing tape on top to label and write a general description of the contents inside so I can easily access them the next time around. Plus, the tape doesn’t leave a residue on the container!

Here’s to a successful spring cleaning, mama!

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