When your kids come home from school on that last day of the school year, it’s okay to let them spend a few days reveling in their new found freedom. Let them run around the house and yard and be excited about schedule-less, homework-less, teacher-less days for a little bit. When they’re starting to show signs of being bored, get to work.
Your kids have undoubtedly accumulated a lot of “stuff” throughout the school year: projects, notes from friends, favors from class parties and birthday parties, etc. It’s important to sort through all of that stuff before you start setting up a summer filled with activities (that all come with their own “stuff”).
Cleaning your kids’ rooms out literally gives them a fresh start for the summer. It clears away the previous school year and the stress and worry that it carried (while still allowing them to hold on to the happy and proud memories). So how do you do it? More importantly, how do you approach it so that your kids will cooperate?
Go through your kids’ rooms from top to bottom. Gather up all of the random party favors, the bits of scribbled on paper, the busted toys, the outgrown clothes—everything and sort through it.
If your kids can’t remember who gave it to them, when (or why) they made something or the last time they used something, set it aside. You can donate the things that are still usable (or sell them in a consignment sale).
Now go through the things that you know your kids want to keep. Are there things that have tremendous amounts of sentimental value but that you know aren’t likely to be played with again (or for a while)? Find a place to store them. You can box them up and put them in the attic or basement or, if you have neither of those, you can rent a storage unit (if you live in the south or Northeast, try Unclebobs.com storage).
PRO TIP: If you’re on the fence about a storage unit, consider this: you can store other things there too—like Christmas decorations, the fine china that only gets trotted out for major holidays, etc. Imagine having the rest of your house feel as clean and clutter free as your kids’ rooms!
There is going to be some resistance when you start these projects. Most kids have natural hoarding tendencies. Everything is precious. Remind them, as you sort, that the summer will bring all sorts of new art projects, gift bags and clutter with it…and try not to panic as you realize you’re going to have to go through the process all over again when you’re getting ready to find space for new school clothes and supplies.