Can you believe we’re already in 2022? As we embark on a new year one of the first things on everyone’s minds is clearing the clutter. Including, clearing out all of that toy clutter. But where do we even begin?
I’m here to give you 5 EASY ways to clear the clutter while implementing Montessori principles. If you’d prefer to watch the live training I did on this topic, you can catch it below. And if you’re not already a member, be sure to request to join my free, Montessori Toddlers Facebook group where I frequently host live trainings about all things Montessori related. Click here to join.
If your household is anything like mine, after the holidays there is always an influx of clutter. So many new toys to organize, assess and find a new home for. That’s exactly why I use this simple, 5 step method to get to that beautifully, Montessori prepared environment.
This task is simple but quite possibly the most important in this action plan, as well as in your Montessori practices. Observing your child will allow you to follow your child’s lead. Be sure that you’re taking notes while you’re observing. If you’re not sure what exactly you should be taking notes about, I’d love for you to join us Jan. 24th – Jan. 27th for my free, 4 Days to a Montessori Home Challenge. I’ll be giving you tips and tricks on how to observe and make sure you’re using your observations to truly have a Montessori inspired home. I know it can seem like we’re already observing our children, because we DO live with them. However, there IS a Montessori method to observations.
After we have made observations about our children’s preferences, we can use those observations to follow your child’s lead. This is something you’re going to continuously hear throughout your Montessori journey. Take a quiet moment of time and think about what you have observed and written down. Is your child playing with mostly gross motor toys? Maybe they are all about puzzles, colors, numbers, or letters right now? There’s no ‘right’ answer to what they ‘should’ be interested in. It is simply our job as parents to take note of what they’re interested in and then use those notes to help us (in this case) clear out toy clutter in a meaningful way. When we know what our children enjoy, we can purposefully prepare an environment for them that piques their interest and challenges them in an appropriate manner.
Now that you have observed your child and followed their lead it is time to sort the materials and toys that you already have in your home. This is as simple as writing down which toys or materials stay and which ones go. You can make a better informed decision about which toys are clutter and which toys can stay because you’re more in tune with your child’s interests.
3 Signs a Toy Might be Considered Clutter
This is often an overlooked step in Montessori, because parents tend to simply add new Montessori materials without assessing what they already have along with their children’s interests. The issue with this, is that your environment is not fully prepared if it’s skipped. The more prepared your environment is, the more Montessori benefits you will see. This step is also the precursor to creating effective toy rotations. (More on toy rotations here.) When we get to this day in our free, 4 Days to a Montessori Home challenge, the day that we focus on sorting is always the day we see the biggest transformations. Don’t forget you can join us for free here.
Montessori and minimalist living both suggest using open shelves. From a minimalist perspective, this will keep your place looking tidy and it will also help you from collecting more clutter in closed off spaces. From a Montessori point of view, low shelves are used because they are eye level and the child can make an independent choice to play or work on a material without the adult’s help. It’s also important that anything placed on the shelves are only things that are both Montessori aligned and things that our children are interested in (which are really one and the same).
That box of toys or materials your child is no longer interested in? Get rid of them! You can do a number of things with these toys such as donate, give them away to friends, or sell them. If they’re broken or missing pieces, it may just be time to throw them away. Head to my blog post on what to do with unwanted toys here for more information on this topic.
Of course, each of these steps will help you to go from unorganized and overwhelmed to a distraction-free Montessori home. But
if you are ready and want to start to declutter the Montessori way with a wonderful group of parents and my guidance, don’t forget to join us for our 4 days To A Montessori Home Challenge! Not only will we spend 4 days working towards a beautifully prepared Montessori environment, but if you participate you also have the chance to win a FULL scholarship to the Montessori Learning Center. So mark you calendars for Jan.24th – Jan. 27th and I hope to see you in the challenge.4 days To A Montessori Home Challenge!
But before you go, I’d love to know in the comment section below, which of these 5 steps do you feel like you need the most help with and why? And which of these 5 steps would you consider your strength and why?