Any parent knows that kids create clutter like nobody’s business, but it is possible to have a relatively simple, uncluttered home as well as peace of mind. Here are some tips for simplifying your home with kids:
Identify what is important. The first step in decluttering is identifying which toys and other possessions are truly important to your children. What do they play with, what do they love? Then get rid of as much of the rest as possible, keeping only those they use and love.
Massively purge. In the beginning, if you have a lot of kid clutter, you’ll want to go through a massive purge. The way to do this is to block off a day to go through their rooms. Do one area at a time: a drawer, a section of the closet, a shelf. Take everything out of that area, put it in a pile, take out the important items and donate the rest to charity. Move on to the next area.
Contain the clutter. Contain your childs clutter by letting them keep their stuff in their rooms. Use the living room, kitchen and dining room for household items only. If you have play areas for toddlers around the house, try and contain the toys in those areas only. This will help leave your living area simple and minimal.
Bins. Bins and baskets are the best type of containers for childrens items. They also help make cleanup simple and easier for the kids. Label each bin, or use picture labels if your child cannot read yet. Try to teach your children that everything they own has a “home”.
Cubbies. Try adding small plastic 3-drawer organizers, or cubbies in the closets or in childrens rooms. This will allow them to have a place to put their little odds and ends that would otherwise be all over the place.
Find a place for school papers. Try to have one place to keep all incoming school papers. Designate an inbox or a folder just for school papers so you never have to search for them. Try using the Google Calendar online for all important school events and activities.
Clean as you go. Teach your children to clean up after they are done playing.
Clean before bed. Try doing a quick clean-up right before going to bed. This will help make your mornings more pleasant.
30-minute cleanups. Once a week, try doing a “30-minute cleanup” with the children. Make family cleaning fun. Set a timer, and see if you can all finish cleaning and pitching in with household chores in 30 minutes. This way, the house is clean and everyone has the rest of the day to have fun.
Allow them to mess. Kids are not perfect. They will inevitably make a mess. You have to allow them to do this. Then, when they’re done, ask them to clean it up.
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