I love to de-clutter our house. I get to a point where the stuff is just too overwhelming. This is especially true when it comes to toys. Toys have a way of sneaking up on your until every bin, box, shelf and even the floor is filled with toys.
De-cluttering is tough in and of itself. But how can you get it done when you have young children at home? Here are some tips.
Work around the kids schedules. De-cluttering doesn’t have to take one solid block of time. If you your kids nap for an hour, concentrate on one room or one closet or one box or even one drawer at a time. De-clutter before the kids get up or after they go to bed.
Involve the kids in the de-cluttering. Young children usually love to help. It makes them feel important, and they have fun with it. Ask them to carry things and put them in the donation or garage sale box or throw things in the trash. Preschoolers may even be able to tell you if they have things that they no longer love. Give them two boxes for sorting. Label them with fun and opposite names, such as “Dirt” and “Gold” or “Ice Cream” and “Brussels Spouts” or “Princesses” and “Monsters.” Use any labels that make sense to them. Instruct them to put things that they absolutely want for the rest of their lives in the positive box and what they don’t love in the negative box.
Set up a new activity in the same room where you are de-cluttering. This can be something as simple as a new coloring book and crayons. Or, utilize something in the room that the children don’t usually touch. For example, as you weed through your piles of CDs, let the children makes stacks with the ones you are discarding.
If your children will tolerate it, set up a safe barrier between your de-cluttering area and the kids. For example, I’ll carve out a little space on the floor and box it in with boxes while the kids play happily in the rest of the room. Use a baby gate in the next room so your children can see you but can’t get in to your organizing.
Finally, be aware of anything that might be a hazard to your children, such as small parts or sharp objects.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. Starting June 1st, don’t miss her articles in the Baby Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.