Not the holiday season. The other most wonderful time of year – back-to-school. The kids still have quite a bit of bliss left before they go back to school. Or virtual school. But it’s time for you to focus on decluttering before school starts and you have to go to parent-teacher conferences, soccer games, or college campus tours. And the accumulation begins again.

Baby clothes

Now that the “baby” is entering kindergarten, it might be time to clear out baby clothes, toys, and equipment. It’s so difficult to get rid of those adorable baby items that bring back such great memories. But unless you’re planning to have more children, it’s just accumulating dust and taking up space.

  • Friends having babies or social media contacts are happy to save money by buying slightly used baby items.
  • Donate to shelters, day care facilities, church closets, neighborhood centers.
  • Save a very few items that are precious to hand down to your kids’ kids. Or make them into quilts or other useful items.

Elementary kids

Starting in elementary school and continuing through high school, kids continue to generate a lot of stuff. You don’t want to throw it out if it’s usable so what to do with it?

Start by sorting out the usable from the destroyed. Identify the things that you absolutely must keep, whether to pass down to family members, frame them, or otherwise preserve them.

  • Seasonal clothes – we all know kids won’t fit into them the day after you buy them anyway.
    • Donate clean, “gently used” clothing to shelters, churches, and other community clothes donation centers. Take a tax write-off if you can. Everybody’s happy.
  • Sports equipment – there may be some items that will grow with your child but many of the items have limited usefulness. Plus, they tend to break down because kids are rough on things.
    • Again, donation is the key. Schools, especially underfunded organizations would be thrilled to have extra sports equipment for kids who can’t afford any.
    • Community and neighborhood organizations
    • Church sports teams
  • School stuff – notebooks, pencils, markers, folders, calculators, and on, and on, and on. There’s way too much of all of it in the average home. It’s unlikely that they’ll have historical value. Donate.
  • Don’t forget about those darling art projects. Parents usually have a container somewhere in the house with paintings, glued macaroni pictures, or abstract drawings of the family home.
    • Review the art with your kids and ask them what the art meant to them at the time.
    • Help them decide on creative things they can do with it:
    • Laminated family placemats or bookmarks
    • Holiday cards
    • Collages as framed art for their rooms or a family room
    • Photograph the art and use as wallpaper on your phone or tablet
    • Donate to children’s hospital wards, community projects, doctor’s offices

Once college classes start – you own their stuff

If you have college-age kids, this is a great time to determine what goes and what stays. Otherwise, take our word for it, you’ll still be storing their stuff when they’re a senior, or after they’ve been on the job for ten years!

The family home always has more storage than they do, right? They’re in apartments with limited storage space. Their new partner doesn’t want to decorate their first place together with their childhood treasures. It doesn’t fit in with the decor of their new home, and lastly – the grandkids don’t want it either.

Plus, you’re probably cleaning out your own childhood treasure. Your parents wisely refused to keep it, or you got it back when they passed.


Keep enjoying your summer. But start now to get ahead of the stream (or flood) of accumulation that starts in September. If you have a plan and a system to manage it throughout the year, you won’t feel overwhelmed.

Remove and Haul would be happy to connect you with professional haulers in your area who can help with your junk removal plans. And if you are a professional hauler looking for Junk Removal Leads, we are happy to help you too!

Happy (decluttering) holidays.