I am that person that enjoys a declutter and spring clean. Any excuse to clear out and I'm on it. January is always perfect as we can clear out outgrown toys, dusty books and stuff that just isn't used anymore. It's also a great time to teach Lily about charity and helping others.
After Christmas, I went through Lily's toy box and bedroom and boxed up all her outgrown toys, clothes and books that she no longer reads (she owns a library, it really is a little out of hand) and got her to help us take it all down to the charity shop. I feel it's important for her to do this regularly. To learn about giving to help others, but also to not become too attached to material things.
As ever with children, this meant us as parents doing the same. You know how it is, 'lead by example' and all that. I managed to get rid of loads of stuff that if I'm honest, I thought had long gone! I've also managed to sort out all of Lily's clothes. I mean, how does one little girl have so many pieces? It's ridiculous! Some went to the charity shop, some have gone to friends and family, but there are a few beautiful pieces that I just couldn't part with. I mean you never know, they may be useful again someday...
I am a big fan of the whole 'new year, new me' and a little bit of a clear out can help you not only feel more organised and relaxed, but I feel it helps you get back into our routine. By doing this, it's like pushing the reset button on your housekeeping routine, household routine and can also help you aid your child's routine.
With Lily, it's allowed me to establish a really wind down period to the day where we clear away her toys, get a warm drink and just sit down and chill out a little before bedtime. It has really improved her sleep. She drifts off quicker and is less cranky in the mornings. It's something we've needed to do. Over Christmas, I had let bedtime slide a little. Matt was away, Lily and I were on our holidays and late night snuggles and a Disney film were great, but now, back to term time, business, focused family!
If you think you fancy doing the same sort of thing, take a look at my tips for a good new year clear out!
Take it step by step
Biggest tip here. I once tried to do the whole flat in one day and it was chaos! Write an order to do everything and take it room by room. That way, you can move around the house without causing too much chaos for you child.
2. Who's at home
Look at what you're doing and who's at home. I try my best to only do the bathrooms and the kitchen when Lily is at nursery or with family as it involves cleaning with bleach and other cleaners and I hate the idea of her wandering about with those out of the child locked cupboard. If you can't find a day like this, have stair gate or something in the doorways which will allow you easy access, but is still a challenge for your child to give you time to deter them!
3. What will you do with everything?
Get some boxes or bin liners and label them - throw, keep, charity. As you go through everything, filter them into these boxes and then it's already organised and ready to go where it needs to go.
4. Have fun with it!
You're moving around, doing a lot of lifting and so on, so have the radio on, some music and don't stress too much about it. I spent mine with Spotify playing and my waist trainer on to try and factor in some exercise while clearing all my old rubbish out.