Every parent knows just how quickly kids grow up…and how much waste we are left with as they do. I’m not just talking about dirty diapers here – but rather all of the toys, clothing, furniture and more that you buy when you are expecting a baby or have quickly growing youngsters in the house. So before you find yourself overwhelmed with a bunch of stuff that your child has outgrown in just a few months, here are a few suggestions to make sure you get more out of the things you buy.
- Decorate with furniture that can grow with you – Your kids are going to keep growing, so try not to buy things that will no longer be useful in a few months or even a year. The crib we bought our daughter was adjustable, so it could easily be converted from a baby crib to an enclosed toddler bed. And later on, with one side of the bed removed, it became an open toddler bed. She was able to use that one piece of furniture for nearly 4 years. Also, don’t buy a changing table that is just a changing table, but think about selecting a dresser instead that can have a changing tray placed on it or is also convertible.
- Got toy overload? Stash half the toys and rotate them – Kids are quick to get overwhelmed with the generosity of friends and family. So if you find that your child is rarely playing with all of his or her toys, or you’re having trouble keeping things clean, grab a box or bin and put about half the toys in there. Then store it away in the top of a closet. Let your child enjoy playing with the toys left out, and once he or she starts getting bored with them, rotate out the toys. I guarantee that your child will be so thrilled with those “old” toys coming back out, that you might believe it’s actually Christmas.
- Develop a system to get rid of things quickly – When you children outgrow clothing and toys, it’s important to get those items out of their bedroom and your home as quickly as possible. So start clothing donation bags, set up an agreement with a friend who has kids younger than yours, store it for later or learn how to write stellar Craigslist and eBay listings so you can get all that stuff out of your home before it becomes a burden.
- Keep things flexible – As I already mentioned, your kids are going to change a LOT in the coming months and years, especially as they transition from baby to toddler to a young child. So try to make sure that anything you buy to for storage or organization can be repurposed later on.
About the Author: Tiffany is the mother of a fun and energetic 4-year-old daughter who also has
a lot of stuff. She is the author and editor of No Ordinary Homestead, a blog to help you find a
way to balance and organize your life in the midst of all the chaos.