The Playscape Purge


Pick up your phone, go to the most cluttered, stressful corner of your home, and take a picture.

Now take a deep, cleansing breath – the kind of breath you take when you are about to embark on an adventure, make a change, or otherwise step toward the person you want to be and the life you want to live.

Commit to following through with The Playscape Purge and this cluttered, stressful corner will be the before picture that will only continue to exist as a memory.

Are you ready?


Step 1: Trash everything broken or worn out.

Move through your child’s playscape, one zone at a time, and put everything broken or worn out into a big trash bag or trash pile.

Potential zones include:

  • Child’s Bedroom
  • Playroom
  • Living Room (play area)
  • Office (desk area)
  • Bathroom
  • Garage
  • Backyard

Potential items include:

  • Furniture
  • Shoes
  • Clothes
  • Art Supplies
  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Stuffed Animals
  • TOYS

These first 3 steps are easy and are more manual labor than soul searching. No hard choices here.

Is it broken? Is it worn out? Put it in the trash pile.


Step 2: Trash or donate everything outgrown.

Move through your child’s playscape, one zone at a time, and put everything your child has outgrown or matured beyond in a trash pile or a donate pile.

Outgrown clothing is the easiest example but also toys below your child’s developmental level.

If you have more than one child, then you will trash or donate everything outgrown by your youngest child. If there is a significant age gap between your children, then a box for each size and/or developmental age can be kept in your garage or storage area.

During this phase you may begin to feel an itch to bring new things into the space to replace what you are purging. We like feeling full and removing a large volume from our space can elicit feelings of want or lack. Sit with that feeling. Acknowledge the discomfort of change. Move through it. Continue purging but bring nothing new into the space (yet).

Has your child outgrown it? Put it in the trash or donate pile.


Step 3: Donate everything unwanted.

Move through your child’s playscape, one zone at a time, and put everything you don’t want in a trash pile or a donate pile.

You may feel the sentimental panic begin to creep in during this phase but remember, this phase still requires minimal brainpower. We are still not making any tough choices here. Just move through each zone and ditch the things you know right away you don’t want. For example, that picture book that was given to you that you can’t stand reading or that awkwardly shaped toy your child hardly ever plays with that doesn’t fit anywhere in your house.

Do you want it gone? Put it in the donate pile.


Step 4: Keep what you choose.

Move through your child’s playscape, one zone at a time, and put everything in that zone into a pile in the middle of the room.

One item at a time, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this help us to be our best selves?
  • Is this a good fit for our family?
  • Does this add positively to our lives?
  • Have we used it in the last year?

Remember, every single thing in your home is either helping you to be your best self or preventing you from being your best self; nothing is neutral.

If you choose to keep the item, give it a home.

Everything left over, put it in the trash or donate pile.

For example, do you have a stack of your child’s drawings? Choose you and your child’s favorites to save. Having a sampling from different mediums and ages is a good place to start. Write the approximate dates on the back. Bundle them altogether and give them a home. Recycle the rest.

Is it uplifting? Give it a home.


This brings us to the organization phase, which you can read more about in my post Tame the Toy Monster from my Sage Homeschooling book. I can also give you one-on-one support for this phase through Sage Parenting Playscape Coaching.


Now take out the trash. Go ahead, I’ll wait …

Look through your donate pile for anything valuable enough to sell online (Craigslist style), and put the money toward supplies for organization. Go make it rain …

Put the items to be donated in your car and drive them to the donation center. Sharing is caring, so go on …

Now return to that cluttered, stressful corner or go to the new playspace in your home you are the most proud of and take a picture.

Now take a deep breath again. Breathe in that open, airy, peace. Breathe out any doubt you had in your ability to manifest a home in which your family can thrive.

Post the before and after photos on the Sage Parenting Facebook page and the winner will get a free copy of my book Sage Homeschooling: A Lifestyle of Connection.

You did it. You rock. And I’m proud of you.

Read more in Sage Homeschooling: a lifestyle of connection.

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