I’m so happy to welcome you back to Day 5 of the 31 Days of 10-minute Purging Tips Challenge. I believe that life is better when simple and organized, so we’re working to eliminate things we don’t need from our lives so that we can better enjoy life. Today you can choose between two organizing task. Do you want to work with your child on decluttering small toys or do you want to work on decluttering your email inbox? It’s your choice to clear clutter.
Clear Clutter – Decluttering Tips for Small Toys or the Email Inbox
Since we all have at least one email inbox, let’s start with basic tips to purge your inbox.
Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. We all receive many emails every day that are just plain junk. This is where spending a minute now to unsubscribe to each of these junk emails will save you hours later of deleting emails you don’t want or need.
Start with the oldest emails in your inbox. It’s easier to judge which emails still need to be kept when you have a week (or three years) perspective on them. Start purging from the oldest emails to the most current in your inbox.
Purge what you can each time you open your email. We all receive emails we don’t need, so eliminate those immediately before you open emails you do want to keep. This will help reduce the junk emails just cluttering your inbox.
Create folders for email categories. Take a few minutes and think about what folder categories will work best for you. File emails you want to retain in the appropriate folder. You’ll be able to find them much more easily in the future than digging through hundreds of emails sitting in your inbox.
Purging email is the perfect task for those times when you have a few minutes while you wait. When you’re sitting waiting in the dentist office or waiting for soccer practice to end or the many other times in our lives when we have just a few free minutes but have our cell phone with us. Check out my 5-minute Organizing Tasks While You Wait ideas.
Now let’s talk about purging your children’s small toys.
Take Everything Out- Keep in mind we’re doing this in 10 minutes. Only take out as much as you can go through in that time. This helps keep the task from being too overwhelming for your child. Don’t worry, you can come back to the other items another time. Lay the items you take out on a table, bed or the floor.
Group Like Items Together – Sort through the items together with your child, placing like items with like items.
Evaluate – I think it’s very important that your child make the decision about which toys to keep and which ones to purge. Your role is to ask questions, but not to manipulate. Ask your child if the toy is broken or still works. Ask if your child still likes the toy. Talk them through the purging decision process you’ve been practicing the past four days.
It often helps children let go of formerly favorite toys by taking a picture or your child holding the toys. Your child will then always have the photo as a memory of the toys and may be more willing to let go of them. As a military family, we move every one to three years. The only consistency in my children’s lives have been our family and my children’s toys. For that reason, I’ve always allowed my children to keep favorite toys that they’ve outgrown in a plastic tub stored in the basement, garage or attic. This frees up space in their room and gives them the security of knowing the toy is safely packed away in their storage tub. Talking with your child and using the storage tub together with the photograph choice will help your child make those difficult purging decisions.
Purge – Remove items you don’t need to keep and place them in one of your 6 purging bags. Encourage your child to participate. This purging process is a wonderful talking and teaching opportunity.
Put Everything Away – Put the items your child has decided to keep back away. Praise your child for the hard work that was done in purging. Reinforce and explain to your child why you want to purge and organize your home.
One way to encourage your child to put toys away is to use fun organizing containers like this DIY repurposed Can Lego Head.
Your child is also more likely to put their toys away if you use open containers or bins that make it easy to just throw the toys into the container. This upcycled comic book can makes it easy and fun to put your superhero figures away.
Books or other toys are easy to put away in this upcycled comic book clementine crate.
Whew! We’ve just completed Day Five by purging small toys or your email inbox. Congrats! Tomorrow we’ll be working on Day Six of the 31 Days of 10-Minute Decluttering Tips challenge. We’re working towards simplifying and enjoying life more.