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3 On Your Side: Decluttering And Kids

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jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - During the holidays did your home start looking like the inside of a toy store? Let’s face it, these days, when it comes to toys, games, and play things, kids have more choices than ever. But as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, there’s a real reversal taking place in some homes as more and more families are choosing to live with less.

Trying to simplify things, Jimmy and Tobi Nguyen purged their daughter’s room of all but a handful of toys and books.

Jimmy says, “Previously, she’d walk into her room and there’d be so much stuff she wouldn’t know what to play with.”

The couple found that their daughter only missed one thing, and now plays more creatively with what is left. Instead of tossing everything at once, they got rid of a few toys a week.

Tobi says, “Maybe easing into it would be the right way to do it.”

The trend is catching on. Parent Rae Lee Pierce says, “It’s ok to let go of all this stuff and to de-clutter and your kids don’t need 150 toys.”

Author Kim John Payne wrote the book Simplicity Parenting and says as the world gets crazier, you have to clear the clutter to find balance, and the easiest place to do that is at home. Payne believes it isn’t the toys that either the kids or their parents were really interested in. He says, “They were buying a lot of stuff out of feeling of wanting to connect with their kids.”

According to Payne, when the buying stops, the children connect with the parents, not the products and he finds adults feel less stress when they simplify too. Families that have begun de-cluttering say it’s an ongoing process, and they would do a monthly cleanout, along with two big purges, typically around the holidays and summer.

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