Spring cleaning has a lot of momentum this year. With the massive success of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I haven’t read yet, but have still, somehow, been motivated by), it seems that everyone is talking about cleaning, purging and organizing.

I gave a talk on this topic last weekend at the Parent-Child Preschool Organization’s (PCPO) Annual Conference and parents’ desires to clear out/give away/neaten up was palpable in the room. “If there were an earthquake, we would be killed by all the plastic toys falling on us!” one mom exclaimed; many others could relate.

I like to make it clear when teaching about simplifying our homes that I am not a professional organizer, nor am I endorsing clearing out for the sake of creating magazine-worthy playrooms (although that is sometimes a welcome “side-effect”); I encourage parents to clear things out of their children’s rooms and playrooms as a way to create space for deep creative play. Too many toys, like too many choices, are overwhelming for children (as well as adults, but that’s another story) and create not only literal clutter, but “creative clutter.” Having fewer “things” to play with fosters creativity and collaboration.

So, this Spring, get inspired! There are so many resources to spur your motivation:
• Next week is National Spring Cleaning Week (in the UK, but no matter…)
Why Cleaning has Meaning is a book I’ve been enjoying before bed this past month.
This is a helpful post from a blog I like.
• And, of course, there’s always Ms. Kondo!

What inspires you to clean up and clear out? What have you noticed about your children (or yourself) after simplifying your stuff?