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Cutting through the Clutter

Our family recently took some time to focus on cutting through the clutter in our basement, which serves in part as the kids’ playroom.

It’s the perfect time of year for it as toys that our kids are no longer using but that are still in good condition can be used and appreciated by others.  These toys & games went either to family, friends or to the goodwill.

Since we were successful in our mission, I thought I’d share the steps we took to de-clutter the playroom:

  • As you begin cleaning up, you are likely to find little pieces (from board games, puzzles, Lego, K’nex) in Random places.  Sort them into piles, ziplocs or containers by game or toy that they belong with.
  • Once sorted & returned to their appropriate game boxes or storage containers, ensure that games & puzzles have all their pieces.  If not, judge whether or not you want to replace missing pieces, wait for them to “show up” or discard.
  • Weed out toys and games that are no longer age-appropiate or that the kids just don’t use.
  • Toys that are still in good condition go into garbage bags labelled with Silver Sharpie  (or use masking tape & marker) stating their destination (i.e.  name of recipient or Goodwill)
  • When bags are filled, they go straight into the trunk. (We put goodwill in the trunk & the rest into the car, to make it easier)
  • When car is filled, drive to nearest drop-box & deliver remainder to their destination.
  • For what’s left in your basement, if you are in need of a storage solution, I highly recommend the EXPEDIT cubbies from IKEA (any  cubby system will do, though) It comes in various sizes and colours and can be tailored to your space.
  • I also recommend the Sterilite plastic containers with lids with snapping closures at either end.  These containers fit well into the cubbies and are easy for kids to open & close. The containers will also usually stay closed even if they are dropped.  You can also choose from an array of drawers, etc. at IKEA but I like the Sterilite containers because Kids can see what’s in them & you can also stack 2 different containers within the same cubby. (See photo)
  • We also found it useful to buy the plastic drawers with the counter-style top in our dolly corner to store doll clothes, playfood & dishes.  It doubles as a kitchen counter or change table as needed!

Once the toy situation was dealt with we moved on to winter clothing and weeded out all that is no longer needed as hand-me downs.  We often receive these items as gifts and they tend to accumulate.  Even though some things are still wearable, we don’t need 8 hats per person!  Consider that there are so many families in need of warm winter clothing, including boots, jackets, snow pants, hats, mittens, gloves & scarves.  It’s such an easy way to give with no cost to us and with the added bonus of providing us with more storage room 😉

The sooner we do this the sooner we help to keep someone warm this winter season.

If you don’t have a local drop box, the two following organizations actually pick up certain items.  You can call to find out when their next pick up is  and whether what you have to give is something that they pick up:

Canadian Diabetes Association : 1-800-505-5525

Fondation Québecoise de la déficence intellectuelle (FQDI) : 514-725-9797

Next case: My office…and THAT my dear readers, is still a work-in-progress.  Wish me luck!

How do you cut through the clutter in your home?  Please share your tips!

Wishing you a clutter-free day,


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