With your busy schedules and bills to pay, clutter just happens. Now imagine adding your kids to the equation. Your own clutter plus toys lying all over the house will surely make your home hard to live in. Plus, it’s no fun stepping on Lego bricks!
It’s a good idea to teach your kids to put away their clutter from a young age. Teaching them simple organisation skills while they are young will help them understand responsibility and how to be organised as they grow up. It may be stressful sometimes, but you have to keep your cool when teaching your kids to reduce their clutter. Make it fun and it will be easy!
Below are some helpful tips on teaching your kids to reduce their clutter.
1. Call a Family Meeting
Rally your troops and discuss the reasons for decluttering your house. Teach your kids that it’s important to have a tidy home so it’s more comfortable for those who live there. If your family enjoy the outdoors more often, it’s possible that you have less clutter to take care of. But if you do have clutter, it’s time to be a role model and show your kids what to do with it!
2. Identify What Is Important
This is one of the most important tips for decluttering. Identify the toys that are most important to your kids. Know what toys they really love and what toys they don’t really care about anymore. You can tell them that you want to have a garage sale and sell their unwanted toys so they can earn some pocket money or donate them to nurseries and schools. You can tell them they can make other kids happy if you give away their unwanted toys. Just think of “Toy Story 3”.
3. Keep Decluttering Fun
If you have younger kids and you have a 10 minute decluttering session, play some music they really like. Music puts anyone into a groove and makes organising less boring and much quicker. Plus, if there’s music playing in the background, decluttering will not feel like a chore. You can do this for 10 minutes every day or even just a few times a week. After organising their things, watch a movie or make cookies as a reward.
4. Do Not Overwhelm Your Kids
If you want to get some serious organising and decluttering done, have a big home clean-out once or twice a year. However, you can make things easier if you declutter for 30 minutes twice a week to get the job done. Kids can get easily tired, bored and out of focus if you spend long hours organising things. You have to keep your kids entertained when decluttering.
5. Go Slow
Most kids won’t want to let go of their toys, even if they’re not playing with them that often. Your kids need to want to get rid of their old belongings. Slowly help them figure out what can stay and what they can let go of.
6. School Papers
Not all kids keep toys around the house. Older kids might start to build up clutter from their school things. Most of their school books and papers will either go into the recycling bin. These papers will just gather dust when your kids are finished with them. Only save school papers if:
- Your kids will need them again after a week or to study for an exam or test later on.
- Something is really adorable (like an artwork) and can be kept for some time. You can probably take a picture of it and toss it if you don’t want to save it for a long time.
7. Use Translucent Bins
When your kids are trying to find something, they tend to pull out everything and throw it on the floor until they find what they are looking for. If you let them get away with this, it will become a bad habit. Instead, get them some translucent storage bins to prevent things to be thrown on the floor. This will allow your kids to have a good look first before grabbing anything.
8. Leave Some Space
After you have put all the important belongings back to where they should be, allow some space to make it look nice and to leave some room for some other items if needed.
9. Allow Some Mess
Allow your kids to make a mess sometimes, but not the kind that will make you spend money for major repairs. Allow your kids to enjoy playing. They’re kids and you can’t expect them to be perfect. Once they’re done, you can ask them to clean them up. Talk to them and ask them to clean up their mess. There is no harm in asking, and by talking to them nicely, you’re teaching them to be organised and responsible.
10. Clean As You Go
Teach your kids to clean their stuff as they go. If your kids get used to this policy, there will be less clutter around the house. No shoes or shirts lying around on the floor, no papers on the dining room table and lunch boxes properly stored after school.
11. In With the New, Out With the Old
For each new toy your kids acquire either as a gift, a hand-me-down or a new purchase, some of the old stuff should be sold or given away to save space and to prevent further clutters. Keep in mind that you need to ask your kid’s permission if some old things need to be disposed of.
Talking to your kids about the mess, decluttering and making things simple will teach them to be responsible about their possessions. They’ll carry these lessons into adulthood and you’ll have helped them have an organised home.