Are you sick of cleaning and tidying your house only to find it is covered in clutter again minutes later? Then the idea of living a minimalist and uncluttered life is sure to sound appealing. The problem is that children, and the huge amount of supplies and equipment they need, make it hard to live a minimalist life. That doesn’t mean that you can’t clear out the unnecessary clutter though! Here are five top tips to help you declutter your home if you’re living with kids:
Give Your Kids Keep and Toss Boxes
Children are one of the biggest sources of clutter in any household, and most kids are natural hoarders. To encourage them to get rid of clothes and toys they have outgrown or no longer need, give older children two boxes labeled toss and keep. Tell them that you would like them to go through their wardrobes/toy cupboards and that they need to fill each box. The visual aid of the boxes will help to focus their minds on the taste, and really think about what they want and need.
Put a Name on It
There is some clutter that you can’t get rid of when you have kids. School uniforms, homework folders, and reading books are just a part of life that can’t be thrown out, but they can be organized better. Buy name labels for school equipment so that you can easily see what belongs to each child, and then give them a box file or storage box to keep their school supplies in. Keep this somewhere visible, so that it can’t become lost or forgotten.
Give Things Away
Struggle with letting things go or don’t like the idea of your unwanted objects going to landfill? Instead of having a big declutter on in one go, why not try giving away one thing a day instead. You could give away outgrown baby clothes to a pregnant friend, unwanted toys to school friends, or simply take those mugs you replaced to the charity shop. It doesn’t matter where the objects go, the point is that your act of decluttering will do good, and make you feel better about letting go of things.
Often the things that clutter up our home are things that we can’t use. For example, most of us have bathroom cabinets full of medicines, lotions and make up that has gone bad or past its best before date. Check the dates on everything in your bathroom and toss anything that can’t be used. This should clear enough space in your cabinets to pop other things in their place, leaving you with lovely clean bathroom surfaces. This same rule can be applied to kitchen cupboards too.
Follow the 12 Month Rule
Is your own wardrobe bursting at the seams with clothes that don’t fit or that you never wear? Then it’s time to be ruthless and follow the 12-month rule! Look at each item of clothing in your wardrobe. If you haven’t worn it in the last 12 months (long enough to cover all four seasons) then give it to the charity shop. If you have worn it at least once in the last 12 months then it can go back in the wardrobe, and lives to fight another day!
There are exceptions: specialist sports clothes (such as ski gear) or occasion wear can be kept if you haven’t worn them in 12 months, but only if you plan to use them again in the future.