Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dealing with kids' clutter

Every parent knows that it's a constant struggle to deal with clutter. 

Getting rid of all the unused toys, clothes, collections and more is hard enough in itself. But getting through the process without any hurt feelings can be even more difficult. Here are six tips to make decluttering easy and harmonious.

1.     Communicate
Decluttering is ten times easier if everyone is on board. If you throw things out without talking to their owner first, it's guaranteed to cause tension.

2.     One thing in and one thing out
This simple rule can be incredibly helpful. Everyone needs new things on occasion, but if you don't throw anything out, your house will be a pigsty in no time! Obviously, this needs to be applied in a common sense way – if you have enough space for a new sofa you buy, there's no need to throw out an old one – but this rule can be very useful as a framework to keep on top of clutter. Some of the best targets for this principle include clothes and toys.

3.     Do the easy things first
Decluttering is all about momentum: You have to work up to things. Get rid of outgrown clothes, things you haven't used for a long time and any items that are broken first of all. Once you're on a roll, then you can start thinking about whether those unused toys that used to be prized possessions should be kept, thrown out or put into storage.

4.     Make it regular
With all the demands on everyone's time, it can be very difficult to make sure that decluttering gets done. The best way to ensure that it actually happens is to put it in the calendar and schedule other things around it. A good frequency for a basic declutter is around once a month, while a comprehensive declutter should take place around once a year. With all the influx of gifts on Christmas, many families find it useful to do an annual declutter in December.

5.     Create limits
Your sense of what is normal and acceptable determines how much clutter will be in your house. To get a handle on this stuff, come up with clear rules. Maybe the collection of stuffed toys can keep growing until it fills the cupboard, or you can keep getting new military models provided that they can fit on a table. Having clear limits in place creates structure for your living space. It is a great way to minimize clutter without putting a lot of effort in.

6.     Do it as a family
On a practical level, you'll get rid of clutter more quickly with more people doing the work. Decluttering might never be a whole lot of fun, but collective family activities are always good for your kids' development. Getting rid of clutter together represents an opportunity to encourage your kids to take responsibility for things rather than expecting you to take care of them. It's a way to get your kids started with a good habit that will serve them well in later life. 

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