How Do I Declutter My Home With Kids Around?

If you’re a parent, you know that keeping your home clutter-free can be quite the challenge with kids running around. Toys seem to multiply overnight, and finding a place for everything can feel like an uphill battle. But fear not! In this article, we’ll guide you through some practical tips and strategies to help you declutter your home and reclaim your space, even with little ones in tow. Say goodbye to the chaos and hello to a more organized and serene living environment! So, let’s get started on this exciting journey towards a clutter-free home together.

How Do I Declutter My Home With Kids Around?

Get the Kids Involved

Assign age-appropriate tasks

Getting your children involved in decluttering can not only lighten your workload, but it also teaches them valuable life skills. Start by assigning age-appropriate tasks to ensure they can participate safely and effectively. For younger children, tasks like picking up toys, sorting their clothes, or putting away books can be a great way to introduce them to the concept of organization. Older children can take on more responsibility, such as decluttering their own rooms or helping out with larger scale projects like organizing the garage. By giving them tasks that match their abilities, you empower your children and make the decluttering process a team effort.

Create a decluttering routine

Consistency is key when it comes to decluttering with kids. Establishing a decluttering routine can help make it a regular part of their lives and yours. Set aside specific times each day or week dedicated to decluttering. This can be as simple as spending 15 minutes before bedtime tidying up toys or dedicating a Saturday morning to decluttering and organizing a specific area of the house. By incorporating decluttering into your routine, you create a habit that becomes second nature to both you and your children.

Make it a fun game

Decluttering doesn’t have to be a tedious chore. Turn it into a fun game that the whole family can enjoy. Set a timer and challenge your children to see how many items they can put away or donate before the timer goes off. Create a reward system where they earn points or stickers for each task completed. Once they reach a certain number of points, they can redeem them for a small prize or a special outing. By making decluttering enjoyable, you instill a positive association with organization and motivate your children to actively participate.

Set Clear Expectations

Explain the importance of a clutter-free home

Before diving into the decluttering process, take the time to explain to your children why having a clutter-free home is essential. Discuss how clutter can make it challenging to find things, create stress, and even impact their ability to focus and relax. Emphasize the benefits of living in a clean and organized space, such as increased productivity, improved mental well-being, and a sense of calm. Help them understand that decluttering is not just about having a tidy house but also about creating a harmonious living environment for the entire family.

Give specific instructions

To ensure that your children understand what is expected of them during the decluttering process, provide clear and specific instructions. Instead of saying, “Clean up your room,” break it down into smaller tasks like “Put all your toys in the toy bin” or “Hang your clothes in the closet.” Use visuals or checklists to help them visualize what needs to be done. By breaking down the tasks into manageable steps, you make it easier for your children to follow through and see progress.

Provide rewards and consequences

Motivate your children to stay on track and complete their decluttering tasks by implementing a reward system. Offer praise and small rewards, such as stickers, extra screen time, or a special treat, for a job well done. On the other hand, establish consequences for not completing their assigned tasks, such as loss of privileges or additional chores. By providing both rewards and consequences, you create a sense of accountability and teach your children about responsibility and the importance of following through with commitments.

Organize Toys and Books

Sort and categorize

When it comes to organizing toys and books, sorting and categorizing is the first step. Encourage your children to go through their toys and decide which ones they still enjoy playing with and which ones they have outgrown or no longer find interesting. Create separate piles for items to keep, donate, or sell. Help your children determine which toys and books can be passed on to other children who will appreciate them. Sorting and categorizing not only declutters their space but also instills a sense of decision-making and empathy in your children.

Donate or sell unused items

Once you have identified the toys and books that your children no longer need or want, it’s time to decide what to do with them. Teaching your children about giving back to the community by donating their unused items is a valuable lesson in empathy and kindness. Research local charities or organizations that accept toy and book donations and involve your children in the process of dropping off the items. Alternatively, consider selling gently used toys and books to teach them about the value of their belongings and the concept of financial responsibility.

Create accessible storage solutions

To keep toys and books organized and easily accessible for your children, invest in appropriate storage solutions. Shelving units with labeled bins or baskets can help categorize toys by type or theme. Bookshelves or bookcases provide a designated space for books and encourage good reading habits. Consider low-lying storage options for younger children, making it easier for them to independently access and put away their toys. By creating accessible storage solutions, you empower your children to take ownership of their belongings and maintain an organized space.

Manage Clothing and Accessories

Regularly purge outgrown or worn-out clothes

Children outgrow clothing and shoes faster than you can blink. Regularly decluttering their closets and drawers is essential to keep their clothing collection manageable and organized. Set aside time every few months to go through their clothes together and determine what can be donated, passed on to younger siblings, or simply thrown away if it’s worn out or damaged. This not only keeps their wardrobe clutter-free but also teaches them the importance of letting go of things they no longer need.

Teach kids to fold and put away their clothes

Teaching your kids how to fold and put away their clothes is a valuable life skill that promotes organization and independence. Show them different folding techniques and help them practice until they feel confident doing it themselves. Provide them with drawers or shelves designated specifically for their clothes, making it easier for them to know where each item should go. By involving them in the process, you empower your children to take responsibility for their belongings and develop important habits for maintaining an organized living space.

Designate spaces for shoes, hats, and accessories

In addition to managing clothes, it’s crucial to designate specific spaces for shoes, hats, and accessories. Shoe racks or cubbies near the entryway can help keep shoes organized and prevent them from becoming scattered throughout the house. Hang hooks or install a small shelf for hats, scarves, and other accessories. By having dedicated spaces for these items, you minimize clutter and make it easier for your children to find what they need when getting ready.

How Do I Declutter My Home With Kids Around?

Create Zones and Designated Areas

Assign spaces for different activities

To maintain an organized home, it’s helpful to assign specific spaces for different activities. Designate an area for homework and studying, a designated spot for crafts and art projects, and a separate area for toys and playtime. Clearly define these zones by using furniture or dividers to visually separate them. This not only helps your children understand where certain activities should take place but also keeps the rest of the house clutter-free and organized.

Label storage areas

Labels are your best friend when it comes to organization. Use labels to mark storage containers, bins, and drawers, making it easier for your children to identify where things belong. Pictures or drawings can be particularly helpful for younger children who may not be able to read yet. By labeling storage areas, you eliminate the guesswork and ensure that everything has a designated spot.

Implement a ‘one in, one out’ rule

To prevent clutter from accumulating, implement a ‘one in, one out’ rule. Teach your children that for every new item they bring into the house, they must donate or get rid of an older item. This rule encourages them to be mindful of their purchases and prevents items from piling up unnecessarily. By practicing this rule, you promote a clutter-free environment and instill the importance of thoughtful consumption in your children.

Streamline Art and School Supplies

Use digital solutions for artwork storage

Children’s artwork can quickly accumulate and create clutter. Instead of keeping every single piece, consider using digital solutions to preserve their precious creations. Invest in a scanner or use a smartphone app to digitize their artwork. This allows you to create a digital gallery that can be easily shared with family and friends. For special or sentimental pieces, consider framing and displaying them in their rooms or common areas. By streamlining artwork storage, you free up physical space while still cherishing your child’s creativity.

Rotate and display artwork

While digitizing artwork is a great way to declutter, displaying your child’s artwork also adds a personal touch to your home. Create a rotating display by using clothespins and twine to hang artwork on a designated wall or bulletin board. Encourage your child to select their favorite pieces to showcase and periodically switch them out to keep the display fresh. By giving their artwork a special place in your home, you nurture their creativity and boost their self-esteem.

Organize school supplies in separate containers

School supplies often end up scattered throughout the house, making it difficult for your children to find what they need. To streamline the organization of school supplies, designate separate containers for different items. Use bins or drawers to store pens, pencils, erasers, and other stationery. Keep paper, notebooks, and folders in a designated area or shelf. By organizing school supplies in this way, you make it easier for your children to find and put away their materials, ensuring a clutter-free study environment.

How Do I Declutter My Home With Kids Around?

Minimize Paper Clutter

Establish a mail management system

Paper clutter, particularly in the form of mail, can quickly pile up and become overwhelming. Establishing a mail management system is essential to tackle this issue. Designate a specific area for incoming mail, such as a basket or folder. Sort the mail regularly, discarding junk mail immediately and setting aside important documents in a separate folder or organizer. Encourage your children to participate by sorting mail based on categories like bills, invitations, or school-related documents. By creating a mail management system, you prevent paper clutter from spreading throughout your home.

Digitize important documents

In addition to managing mail, digitizing important documents can significantly reduce paper clutter. Invest in a scanner or use smartphone apps that allow you to scan and store documents digitally. This includes passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, and other important paperwork. By digitizing these documents, you not only minimize paper clutter but also ensure that important information is easily accessible and protected in case of loss or damage.

Recycle or shred unnecessary papers

To keep paper clutter at bay, regularly go through your paperwork and determine what can be recycled or shredded. Dispose of outdated receipts, expired coupons, and any unnecessary documents that no longer serve a purpose. Shred sensitive papers containing personal information to protect your family’s privacy. Encourage your children to participate in this process by helping them understand the importance of eliminating unnecessary papers and reducing waste.

Tackle the Kitchen and Dining Areas

Involve kids in meal planning and grocery shopping

To maintain a clutter-free kitchen and dining area, involve your children in meal planning and grocery shopping. Encourage them to contribute ideas for meals and engage in discussions about healthy eating. Take them along to the grocery store and teach them about making conscious choices when selecting ingredients. By involving them in these activities, you not only reduce the chances of food going to waste but also empower them to take ownership of their nutrition and develop important life skills.

Keep countertops and tables clear

Clear countertops and tables not only create a visually appealing space but also make meal preparation and dining more enjoyable. Encourage your children to clear and wipe down countertops after each use. Teach them to put away cooking utensils or dishes once they are done using them. Emphasize the importance of maintaining a clutter-free surface to create a clean and inviting environment for mealtime. By instilling these habits, you ensure that your kitchen and dining areas remain organized and ready for use.

Regularly clean out the pantry and fridge

The pantry and fridge can easily become cluttered with expired or unused food items. Set a regular schedule for cleaning out these areas and involve your children in the process. Check for expired products, organize items by category, and take note of any staples that need restocking. Teach your children about the importance of food waste and how decluttering these areas helps prevent it. By maintaining a well-organized pantry and fridge, you make meal planning and preparation more efficient while reducing the risk of food going to waste.

Maintain a Clutter-Free Bedroom

Create a calming bedtime routine

A clutter-free bedroom promotes better sleep and a sense of peace. Establish a calming bedtime routine with your children that incorporates tidying up their bedrooms before heading to bed. Set aside a few minutes each night to put away toys, fold clothes, and ensure that their space is clean and tranquil. Encourage them to make their beds each morning to start their day on an organized note. By creating a calming bedroom routine, you help your children develop good habits and set the stage for a restful night’s sleep.

Encourage regular toy and clothing cleanup

Children’s bedrooms can quickly become cluttered, so regular cleanup becomes essential. Encourage your children to take responsibility for their toys and clothes by periodically tidying up their bedrooms. Set specific times each week for dedicated cleanup sessions and make it a fun and interactive experience. Play upbeat music or set a timer to make it feel like a game. By instilling the habit of regular cleanup, you ensure that their bedrooms remain organized and clutter-free.

Use under-bed storage or closet organizers

Maximize storage space in your children’s bedrooms by utilizing under-bed storage or closet organizers. Under-bed storage containers or drawers provide extra space for out-of-season clothing, extra bedding, or toys. Utilize closet organizers with shelving, hanging rods, and hooks to maximize vertical space. Teach your children how to use these storage solutions effectively, ensuring that items are put away in their designated spaces. By utilizing under-bed storage and closet organizers, you create a streamlined and organized environment in their bedrooms.

Establish a Donation Routine

Teach kids about giving to those in need

Teaching your children about the importance of giving back is a valuable life lesson. Explain to them that not everyone is as fortunate as they are and that they can make a difference by donating their unused items. Show them pictures or videos of people in need and discuss how their donations can bring joy and help others. By instilling a sense of empathy and generosity in your children, you nurture their compassion and encourage them to be kind and considerate individuals.

Regularly collect and donate items

Incorporate regular donation sessions into your decluttering routine. Set up a designated area in your home where family members can place items they wish to donate. Once the area is full, schedule a family trip to a local charity or organization where your children can see firsthand how their donations make a difference. By integrating donation sessions into your decluttering routine, you create a habit of giving back and ensure a clutter-free home.

Research local charities or organizations

Research local charities and organizations that accept donations and align with causes that you and your family care about. Discuss these options with your children and let them pick a charity or cause to support. Involve them in the research process, allowing them to learn more about the organization and the impact their donations can have. By engaging them in this decision-making process, you empower your children and reinforce the importance of making a positive difference in the world.

Decluttering your home with kids around may seem like a daunting task, but with some organization and involvement, it can become an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By getting your children involved, setting clear expectations, and creating designated spaces, you empower them to take ownership of their belongings and develop lifelong organizational habits. Remember to explain the importance of a clutter-free home, provide specific instructions, and offer rewards and consequences to keep them motivated. With these strategies in place, you can create a harmonious, clutter-free environment that benefits the entire family. So roll up your sleeves, gather your children, and start decluttering. A more organized and peaceful home awaits!