Your baby or toddler relies on you to keep their things in check- but with the mountain of stuff that comes with having a small person- it can seem a little overwhelming, so here are my seven tips to keep on top of their belongings.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Declutter as they grow: As soon as something becomes too small for your little one- it’s time to relocate it. Donate it to the charity shop, your local children’s centre or give it to a friend who has a baby in this size or will have in the near future. This means their wardrobe will always be filled with things that fit them well and you don’t have to try things on to see if they are too big or small, saving you precious time and energy.

Have boundaries for their toys, books and games: If you have a bookshelf- once this is full- something has to give in order to welcome in new things. As long as the books fit within the constraints of the bookshelf- fine, however, if the books exceed this space- some paring down needs to be done. The same rule applies for toys and games- if your designated storage space can no longer take the weight of these items- it’s time to reassess what’s in there and keep only the necessary pieces.

Be clear when it comes to gifting time: If it’s their birthday, Easter, Christmas, or someone wants to bring them something back from their holiday- give the gifter an indication of what you need. Perhaps you would rather they give you the money to put in their bank account for when they are older because they have so much stuff already. If this is the case- be clear about what is best.

Watch what they play with and what they don’t: They may have toys that they always reach for- in which case they are keepers, but if they have little interest in others- your tiny person is telling you that they are not for them. You can then give these toys away with no guilt because you’ve seen for yourself that your baba is not suited to these items.

Avoid keeping things for the next one: If you intend on having other babies- you may feel compelled to keep everything from your current child. While this seems cost effective- think about where you will be storing these items- in the loft? Or the garage? These are cold, often damp places and any clothing, blankets, bibs and socks might spoil in these areas. Plus- any future children might not be the same sex as your current baby- in which case the clothes won’t be appropriate. Similarly, you might have your next baby at a different time of year meaning the sizes and seasons won’t match up. Keep expensive items like prams- of course- but clothing would be better placed with someone who can use it now rather than risking of it being spoiled in storage.

Stick with the rule of one where possible: Your baby or toddler needs duplicates of things like nappies, wipes, baby grows and socks- there is no denying this logic, however- there are things that they only need one of. A few examples might include toys like balls, jigsaws, dolls, larger items like cots and toy chests and clothes such as shoes and coats. Having one of certain things around- especially toys- teaches your child to take care of their belongings- the more of one things there is, the less they will care because there is always a replacement lying around.

Filter out what is age appropriate: Once you feel that a toy is no longer right for your child- it’ s an opportunity to rid your space of it. For instance- a rattle may have entertained your baby for long spells at one stage, but now they have moved onto items that stimulate them more. Try to provide toys that will continue to help their development rather than hinder it by removing those that are not intended for their age group.

Happy decluttering!

MORE: Seven wardrobe essentials for toddlers 

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