With little kids in the house (especially toddlers), decluttering is the key to keeping everything childproofed and relatively clean. Finding time to actually declutter when you have little kids, though, is another story. I’ve found I have to be a bit creative, both to find time to declutter my home and to sneak some of the toys that are no longer getting a lot of love out of the house (those forgotten toys are suddenly very exciting when you are trying to get rid of them).
Declutter during nap time. This one is a bit of a no brainer. I don’t really like to give up my nap time, though, so I usually set a timer for 15 minutes to declutter and then let myself move onto something else once I’m done. It doesn’t seem like much, but if you get in the habit of doing that every day it really adds up. I tackle big projects that are really overwhelming like this. My garage was one of those tasks that I tackled 15 minutes at a time.
Keep a box for outgrown clothes. I’m constantly coming across clothes that my kids have outgrown as I do laundry. If I put them back in the drawers with the other clothes, I’ll never get around to sorting them out. I keep a small box in each of my kids’ bedrooms specifically for outgrown clothes. I keep it up high, so they won’t pull anything out (or sneak anything in), and when I come across a piece of clothing that is too small, I pop it in the box.
Make a game out of it. Our toys got a bit out of control a few years ago. I spent years running a home daycare, so between our toys for that, birthdays and holidays, the toy clutter was just insane. We turned decluttering into a game. I’d have my kids pick out a few toys they wanted to say goodbye to every week. They had fun sorting through toys they hadn’t played with in a while (and discovered a few they missed), and we had a “goodbye” play party with the toys we were getting rid of. In the process, I found I was actually teaching my kids to declutter.
Limit what you bring into your house. When I realized that I was bringing stuff into my house faster than I was decluttering, I knew I had a problem to deal with. Since I was struggling to find time to actually declutter, the solution was to bring less stuff into the house. That left me with less stuff to declutter and more time to do it. Now I’m very careful about what I will purchase because I don’t want the clutter to build up.
Swap babysitting with a friend. There are some jobs that you just can not get done with toddler’s under foot. When it’s time to tackle those tasks, call on a friend to help. Swap kidsg and you’ll both get a day to work on projects kid-free.