Today's mission is to declutter kids' collectibles and collections, at least the ones that are now clutter, while still allowing your child to keep and enjoy the items that are truly cherished.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that you should get rid of every thing your child collects, because many times children (and adults) get a lot of joy and fun from their collections.
However, what today's mission is designed to do is to allow you and your child to think carefully and critically about those collections and collectibles, and make sure they are still providing enjoyment, fun, and good memories, without also taking up more room than you can allot to their storage, or more time than you can afford to give them.
Once you've done this, I guarantee the items you do keep will be much more appreciated and loved, and you'll also find more space in your home.
When you work on this mission I strongly encourage you to involve your child in the decluttering process.
No one wants to have their stuff decluttered without their imput, and this is especially true for anything a child collects, because they have taken a special effort to gather these types of items.
I'll be providing tips throughout the article for how to help your child decide what they will part with, and what they'll keep, so they can also learn an important life skill as they do this mission -- when to say goodbye to a formerly loved collection.
Please note also, this mission is designed for your child's collections and collectibles, but there is also a mission in the Declutter 365 calendar for adult's collections and collectibles as well (click the link if you'd like to check it out now). So if this mission doesn't apply to you, for kids, perhaps it will for your own collections.
I was very careful, when I created this mission to be broad in my categorization of what could be a child's collection or collectible, so it would be as applicable as possible.
Here are some of the possible types of items that could be focused on as you do this mission:
You may have noticed that some of these possible types of collectibles or collections have some overlap with other Declutter 365 missions we've got on the site, such as when we declutter memorabilia or toys, and that's to be expected.
I singled out collections as their own special category because a collection is a group of items, and as such when decluttering you often either choose to keep all or none of them, or you might have special criteria you consider when dealing with collectibles and collections as a group that you wouldn't have if they were unrelated items.
In other words, the way you think about keeping collections, or getting rid of them, may be different than when thinking about just one or two of a particular item.
As always, take as long as you need to deal with your child's collection clutter, but always work in 15 minute increments so you and your child, together, don't get overwhelmed or pull out more than you can deal with so a huge mess isn't created.
Decluttering collections and collectibles can be tough, because there was a conscious decision that you were going to gather and collect a certain type of item, and so reversing that decision to get rid of some of those items may take some thought process, and emotional and psychological work.
Also, in this mission, since it's a kids' mission, it isn't our own stuff we're dealing with, but instead we're helping guide our child through the process of making decisions about their collections. That means we've got to help them with these difficult decisions in a way that everyone is satisfied with in the end.
Below are some questions and issues to focus on with your kids, to get this mission accomplished.
First, your child and you need to ask if this collection, or collectible, still brings joy and fulfillment. This is one of the biggest criteria you should use when deciding whether to keep it, or get rid of it.
Presumably, at least at one point, whatever your child was collecting did bring some type of joy and fulfillment, such as collecting seashells from the beach you visited, or getting all of the toy cars in a set, etc.
The question now is, whether that collection still fulfills that need. Perhaps it doesn't because your child has outgrown it, or isn't interested in that thing anymore.
That's what has happened to us, at least for some of my kids, as it relates to comic books. The photo above is my three kids posing at an event for Free Comic Book Day, which is something we went to annually, as a family, for several years.
For many years all of our kids loved comic books, and so we got a lot of them (no surprise, since they come by their love of comics naturally, since my husband is still a big fan), but these days some of the kids aren't as into it.
That's no problem. It's completely normal for kids to get really into something and later grow out of it. I want to encourage my children to pursue their interests, whatever they may be, and they're not required to keep the same interests their entire lives.
But it leaves me with a lot of comic books in a collection that now doesn't bring joy and fulfillment for those children who've outgrown this hobby. That means, at least for the kids who no longer enjoy the comic books, they can distrubute what they don't want to siblings (or Dad), and then get rid of what no one wants so they have space for something new they're interested in.
That's what I hope today's mission can accomplish in your own home as well. A way to get rid of older stuff that is holding them back from enjoying something new.
Sometimes there are collectibles and collections that used to bring your child joy and fullfillment, but now don't, but they are still sentimental, so your child may still struggle with getting rid of these things.
Collections and collectibles are often sentimental, so your child having these feelings is normal.
While it's normal to feel sentimental about certain items, if they're clutter we still need to learn how to let it go (within reason). So treat this mission as a time where your kids can work on this important life skill.
I've got some tips and strategies for how to decelutter sentimental items in this article, so check it out with your child to help you decide what should be kept and what can go, and to feel at peace with the decisions made.
Finally, there are times that a collection does still bring your child fullfillment and joy, but it has started expanding so much that it doesn't fit well into your home, and it makes their bedroom, or wherever the collection is stored, feel cluttered and cramped.
Collections have a way of expanding too much, as we bring in one item here, and another there, and eventually we find that while a little of something may have been fun a lot of that same something can be exhausting (sometimes for the child, and often for the parents).
If this is the issue for your child's collection one of the best ways to deal with the problem is to decide, together, on the amount of storage space that is available for that grouping. Then, your child has to decide what is the best of the best, and fit everything into that storage space and get rid of anything that doesn't fit.
This allows your child to make the final decisions about what stays and what goes, which helps them feel in control, but keeps you from having a collection explosion that threatens to clutter up the whole house!
Here are a couple examples of this in action, as shown by readers. First, here's a photo from Brooke, who uses a pegboard to hold her son's collection of foam shooter toys.
The beauty of this system is that once it's full, then that's how many toys Brooke's son can have. If he gets a new one, then an old one needs to go, because there is only so much room on the pegboard.
(You can get even more ideas for toy blaster storage here.)
In addition, here is another example from a reader, Katy, who used a shoe organizer to hold her child's Barbie's and other fashion dolls.
You can easily accumulate too many of these types of dolls in your child's collection, but if you only keep what fits into the shoe organizer, which is the container in this situation, than you'll never accumulate too many.
I hope the instructions for this mission have inspired you to declutter excess of your kids' collections and collectibles from your house.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!