It’s the witching hour–when you are trying to get dinner made–and your four-year-old son is whining that there’s nothing to do. You walk with him to the playroom, only to find that he has dumped out every bin of toys, yet can’t seem to find anything suitable to hold his attention.
Unable to face the mess of Legos, cars, Magformers, and stuffed animals that are now strewn everywhere, you simply close the door to the playroom and pretend it doesn’t exist. You turn on the TV to keep your little man occupied, and you wonder, What new toy should we get him for Christmas that he will actually play with?
If this scene sounds familiar, this episode is for you. I invited Tana Parke, a mother of five children and a semi-professional organizer, to share three strategies for keeping our kids’ clutter at bay. Our discussion includes exciting topics, like:
- Why you should hide some toys from your children for a while
- Who might be happy to receive some of the little trinkets that your kids have collected (it’s not who you think!)
- How to teach your kids to think critically about whether or not they actually want a new toy or trinket
- Why The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up doesn’t work for children (and how you can modify it!)
- How to allow your children to have some “treasures” while also keeping them from being hoarders
…and much more!
“At any given point, you can say, ‘This is not how the story is going to end.'”
Cate Johnson was a mother of two young children with a big, beautiful home in the country. From the outside, it looked like she was “living the dream,” but inside, she felt like she was drowning.
She craved peace and connection with her children–but instead she felt only chaos and overwhelm. She spent hours cleaning her big home while her kids watched television. She felt heartbroken that she was not the mother that she had always wanted to be.
In this powerful episode, Cate shares three small but significant changes that transformed their home environment:
1) Using the five senses to create a haven of peace.
2) Designating a “kid of the day” to eliminate fighting.
3) Structuring their family time around rhythms to create stability.
Cate is now a fulfilled, empowered mother, and she has a message of hope for all of us: We can have more peaceful homes, no matter where we live.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne