Good Afternoon, Kansas City!
Ask any parent who has dealt with the issue of MOVING with small children and they will tell you how important it is to manage chaos. Today, we hear from one of our Mom Squad Ambassadors, Jayne, who shares her journey in managing the stress of clutter in the transition of moving.
Over the past year, we will have done the following things –
1. Sell our home in one state
2. Move to another state
3. Move into an apartment while building a home
4. Move into said new home from apartment
During this process, we’ve had to streamline our possessions and our at-hand possessions (the ones that didn’t go to storage during the temporary living situation) quite a bit more than we’ve ever done before in our lives – and the first time we’ve done it as parents.
Throughout the process, I think there has been one blazing, clear theme that shown up on multiple occasions:
We have/had too much stuff.
Even though it is current and in style to “KonMari” your items to only those that bring you joy, we were sort of forced into the process this past year by multiple moves and small spaces. While I thought we were giving our children a “Montessori-based” environment in our prior state, I now realize that the amount and organization of the things we did/do have was not quite as beneficial for their development and the amount of clutter in our home.
Moving into our new home, here are a few things we’re planning on doing differently:
– Purging/donating/selling any toys that no longer are age appropriate or spark interest from our kids.
Because otherwise, it’s feeling like hoarders for kids over here, y’all.
– Offering only a small amount of toys/games at one time on shelves in the kids’ rooms, and then changing them out as needed.
One of the main things I noticed throughout our transitions was that our children didn’t NEED as many toys within grasp, and when they had less – they focused more on what they had. More time was spent on those toys, there was a higher likelihood they’d get put away, and they played more purposefully with those toys.
– Setting up stations where our children can access their own activities as desired or supplies as needed.
As my children have gotten older (ages 4 & 2) and have shown some early tidbits of responsibility, we’ve tried to give them as much independence as they can safely handle. In our new home, this will mean self care stations where they are able to independently wash their own hands, brush teeth (although we do brush for them one time per day), etc. We’ll also set up clean up stations including rags for spills, brooms, dustpans, etc. so that they may clean up after their own messes. Another station we’d like to set up is their own crafting station, where our children can grab construction paper and crayons or markers on their own and create their own art on their own time. We’ve had to work a bit on proper use and improper use of those craft tools, but I think we’re coming around the corner to a point where even my youngest realizes what is expected of her when it comes to things like crayon.
What are some ways you’ve optimized toy placement and use in your home? Any tips for us as we transition into our new space?