If you are like me, you have had a hard time keeping your home decluttered since having kids (and to be honest, decluttering was hard for me when I didn’t have kids). For years I felt like all I did was pick up messes only for it to start over again the next day. Many days I just gave up and gave into my home being a mess. However, I have found that while having a clutter-free home when you have children is no easy task, it is also not impossible to achieve this goal. You just need a little ongoing communication, minimizing, and organization – so keep reading!
Donate Unwanted Toys
Children can be very charitable, almost surprisingly so. Two years ago, I got so fed up with the amount of toys my kids had and the mess they created. I got a grocery bag and set it in the hall between my kids rooms. I told them I was going to to do something that might be hard and internally I was dreading hearing the meltdowns I assumed would come. But I had set my mind to having a clutter free home and this was the path forward. I asked them to each part with just one toy from their room and put in the bag for donation. You know what? There were no tears. Quite the opposite actually- they loved it. They ran to their rooms and began to fill the bag, almost like a challenge who could do it the fastest. As they threw toys in it I was shocked to hear them say things like, “I’ve always hated this one! and “I don’t care about these anymore at all!” And they didn’t stop at one, I had to get more bags. It was awesome! Now I do this regularly with them and they never care. Every few months, we do this and it has helped downsize tremendously.
The goal here is to simply have less things. The less you have, the less there is to manage. Seems obvious, but I didn’t realize the power of this until we did this task. It has caused me to do this in every room of our house in fact.
Create and Contain Zone
If you can create a play area in their bedroom or another space, consider splitting that area into different zones. The zones are going to vary per household, but they may include stuffed animals, pretend play and arts and crafts. Explain to your children that when they are finished playing, they need to put each toy back in its designated zone to keep from losing it.
Cubed Shelves and Colorful Bins
You are going to find cubed shelves and smaller, colorful bins are lifesavers when keeping your home decluttered. The cubed shelves at your children’s height and colorful bins encourage them to put their toys away. You can even work with your children to color-code the bins in each zone. For example, you can use pink bins for baby dolls, yellow bins for pretend food and green bins for animal figures in the pretend play zone. When you donate unwanted toys and organize the toys you are keeping, you can work with your children to keep your home decluttered. As they learn to keep their play areas clean, they are going to learn to keep the rest of their home clean as well.
Decluttering is a Process
Decluttering is going to take time. It is a habit to develop that takes work. And there are days where decluttering just doesn’t happen, life can just be too busy sometimes. Just start small (such as grabbing one small bag to fill) and add in more tasks and habits over time.