Keeping your home clean and tidy requires effort from everyone in your household, including your kids. Teaching your kids to declutter is a great lesson in responsibility, gratitude, and decision-making. In addition to minimizing the number of toys left lying around the house, getting your kids, even toddlers involved in decluttering will help them manage their belongings, a skill they will take with them into adulthood! Here are some tips from I-Deal-Lifestyle™ to help get your kids involved in decluttering and organizing.
Embrace Decluttering Yourself
It’s no secret that children learn from their parents. If you want your kids to care about staying organized, you will care about staying organized too! Declutering can be hard for those new to making decisions about what to keep or donate or toss. What if you love your stuff? Instead of throwing out items that you hold near and dear, create systems in your home to store everything by category in a home that makes sense. Check out Marla Stone’s book, The Clutter Remedy: A Guide to Getting Organized for Those Who Love Their Stuff, for a fresh approach to decluttering and putting things back where they belong.
Set Household Goals
Goals are great for motivating your kids to start decluttering and organizing their things. Sit down with your kids and help them make a list of all the things they want to organize, like their closets, toy shelves, or art station. Once these lists are complete, have your kids choose one list item to focus on. This will serve as their main goal. After this, help them break down their main goal into smaller projects and establish deadlines for each. Finally, designate useful rewards such as new and fun bins for storage for the completion of each mini-goal.
Encourage Your Kids to Donate Unwanted Toys
When your kids are hesitant to let go of things they no longer use or want, talk to them about the value of giving. Let your kids pick items to donate to those in who can use the items. Other children and families can use the toys, bedding, clothes, and other things your kids don’t want. Keep your kids involved in the process from start to finish, asking for their input regarding where they would like to donate their things. For example, The Spruce suggests donating stuffed animals and toys to children’s hospitals, daycares, doctor offices, military families, and religious centers.
Host a Garage Sale
Besides donating, hosting a garage sale is a great way to encourage your children to give up some of their things and declutter their rooms. Get your children to pick things they want to sell at your garage sale and let them keep the proceeds from these items. You can offer to match whatever your child earns during the garage sale, increasing the incentive. Remember to not spend the profit on more stuff you won't use, that serves no purpose, and that you don't love.
Make a Home for Everything
Once you and your kids have successfully decluttered things, categorize everything you own and then fine-tune each category into smaller sub categories. This keeps you uber organized for good. Then establish a space for everything you intend to keep based on how often you use the items, and where you use the items. When everything has a place, it’s easy to put things back when you're done with them. Rich, in "What Matters" explains that even things we love start to feel like clutter when we don’t have space for them. By designating a spot for each item in your home, your family will be able to put things back where they belong instead of creating new piles of clutter to deal with.
Finally, you’ll want to set expectations with your kids so they know to put things away when they’re done using them. For example, you want to enforce the “one out, one away” rule: when your kids take a toy out, they will put one away. Having clear and organized storage spaces for everything will make it easy for your kids to clean up after themselves.
To help run a clean and organized home, you get your kids involved. Work with your kids to set decluttering goals, pick out items to sell and donate, and designate a spot for each and every item in your home. By getting everyone involved in your organizational system, you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your life!
I-Deal-Lifestyle™ THE CLUTTER REMEDY, Feng Shui Services offers professional Feng Shui services in Orange County, LA, San Diego, and San Francisco. Call now for your free Feng Shui assessment! 949-709-7000
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of