pile-of-toys

Declutter before school starts

Are your kids actually using all their toys?

Back-to-school calls for seamless mornings with minimal tantrums and tears. Besides, who likes stepping on those tiny Lego blocks?

Timing is everything

It’s easiest to declutter while your child is not there, but be cautious with what you toss and respect his or her feelings. Seeing the toy may make it harder to let it go. If they haven’t used something in a year, you’ll know because it’s shoved at the back of their drawer or closet. It may be best to sit down together and spend time going through items. If anything is in good enough condition to donate, hopefully the idea that seldom-used toys may better the life of another child will appeal to yours.

Lose the neglected stuff

It’s easy for things to pile up and go unnoticed. Balls, gloves, pails and shovels, all manner of toys that were acquired with the vision of frolicking in the summer sun may have never seen the light of day. Pass them along to another child that really does want to learn a new sport. There are lots of resale shops for sports equipment, and barring that, a yard sale or the good ol’ donation bin will do the trick.

summer clothesSeasonal clothing

Swapping out clothing is a no-brainer as cooler weather sets in. Unless you plan on taking an extended tropical vacation soon (if you do, lucky you!), the shorts and tees can be stored away for next year/next sibling or dropped off with the unused toys. Don’t forget to go through the sandals and bathing suits!

Don’t forget the rugs, linens and curtains

Does the room need a quick pick-me-up? Switching out rugs, linens and curtains can freshen up the look.

Assess the situation

Is the furniture still serving the right purpose in your child’s room? Are those little bins and bookshelves becoming too small for your older child’s toys? Does your child only spend time in their room listening to music, using their computer, and doing homework? There may be furniture that could be repurposed or swapped out for something more age-appropriate. Observe your child over the next couple of weeks to see how useful their room is to them.

Taking these simple steps will have your family ready to tackle a new school year, clutter-free!

What are your favorite back-to-school decluttering tips?

Sam Landa edits the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? blog and is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.