You all are in for a real treat today! My sweet friend Sarah Mueller is here to share 5 rules for decluttering with kids, plus a special bonus offer at the end of this post for those of you interested in digging even deeper into decluttering!
“My kid won’t let go of anything!”
“I’m raising little hoarders.”
These are some of the most common laments I hear from parents. They want to have a home that feels amazing. They want to spend less time nagging reminding their kids to clean up their toys.
But many kids will dig their heels in when asked to give away some toys to less fortunate kids. And what are you supposed to do when every scrap of paper they’ve brought home is a masterpiece?
Follow these 5 rules for easier decluttering (and happier homes!) with kids
1. Be a good example
You really can’t expect your child to part with some toy cars or Shopkins if you’re drowning in craft supplies and clothing.
This doesn’t mean you have to finish decluttering before you can start with your kids; just that you need to realize that your collections and the habits you display are most definitely shaping your kids’ own thoughts about their stuff.
So consider paring down that collection of the things you’re not going to use. Spend some time getting organized. And talk about it with your kids; why you are decluttering certain things, how you decided, and what you’re going to do with them. They will appreciate your example.
2. Keep it short and sweet
If decluttering isn’t your idea of a fun time, it might feel like torture to your kid. So keep it short. Set the timer for 10 minutes and sort through her t-shirts or puzzles together. Let her know that this is a quick project and afterward, she’ll have more room to play or it’ll be so much easier to find the favorite outfit.
3. Allow your child to choose
One of the most interesting things is when a child decides he wants to give away an item and the parent doesn’t want to let it go! If your child is willing to declutter something, don’t keep asking if he’s sure. Show him what it means to stick to a decision. It may not be what you would have chosen but it’s still progress, right?
4. Don’t (always) keep things for future children
Sure, you may have classic toys that your younger child will adore. But make sure that you’re not just keeping those toys because YOU love them. Kids receive so many new things for birthdays and holidays. Are you sure they will want to play with these toys in a couple of years?
And if those toys are going into storage for years, maybe it would make sense to pare down to just a few classics. You can let the rest go, make another child very happy, AND save on storage space.
5. Emphasize experiences over things
Do you have relatives who give so many gifts your little one has way too much to play with? Start the discussion now about next year’s Christmas or birthday gifts. Here’s a list of 27 non-toy gift ideas for kids to get you started.
Decluttering with kids isn’t only possible, it can be an amazing experience!
Keep it positive and productive with these 5 rules and see how your home feels better.
If you’d like more help on creating a home that you can be proud of, the Step-by-Step Decluttering is the guide you need.
- Where to start decluttering so you start loving your home again immediately
- What to do for an instant boost when you get stuck (I call this the Messy Middle – it happens to almost everyone so be prepared when it hits you.)
- Avoid the headache of trying to declutter your home using the “trial and error” method.
- Answer burning questions such as “how do I know if I'll need this again later?”
- How to declutter properly if you're on a tight budget and don't like to waste things
- … and so much more!
Get your copy of Step-by-Step Decluttering here. And I haven’t even told you the best part – as a special gift, I’ll send you my Kitchen Counter Rescue Training (a $19 value) for FREE when you purchase my Step-by-Step Decluttering ebook! Just email me, Sarah Mueller, to request access once you’re purchased!
Sarah Mueller is Wharton grad turned decluttering expert as well as single mom to 4 boys. She’s the founder of the online Facebook communities, Decluttering Club and Declutter My Home, where almost 100,000 members are transforming their lives through decluttering and organizing without being overwhelmed or burning out. She also blogs at Earlybirdmom.com