When you have kids, it can seem like every toy, scrap of food, or other items you pick up is instantly replaced by at least three more. Faced with an ever-expanding collection of “stuff,” getting your home organized and keeping it that way can seem impossible. Anyone with a magazine-worthy living space must surely banish their kids from that area if they have kids at all. Yet organization experts like Marie Kondo and Clea Shearer have young children while maintaining remarkably put-together professional and personal spaces. So, there must be some mysterious way to make a difference, right? Fortunately, that secret isn’t so much of an enigma: it just takes a few changes to your usual tidying routine.
Acknowledge the limits of your space
Like with any project, you only have so much space to work with when storing your belongings. So, when you first start decluttering and creating an organized home, it can be helpful to move some of the clutter elsewhere before diving in. A resource like FindSelfStorage can help you craft a blank space to work with, providing a secure storage facility for some items, leaving room for organization. Then, once you’ve organized the things that are left, you can bring back the necessary items to organize and find homes for. Or, you might just find that you don’t need those excess pieces at all. Clearing out your storage unit and preserving your home’s newfound organization with the right amount of toys and other belongings that will fit in your home’s spatial limitations.
Be mindful of their life transitions
With children, there’s one undeniable fact: they grow up. To keep an organized home even as your kid’s age, you must acknowledge that they’re growing and changing, and their belongings will follow suit. For instance, you might seek out the best nursery glider for your newborn, a favorite way to rock them to sleep while babies, a spot to snuggle them close as toddlers, and a comfortable place to encourage them to read as children. After a while, though, they’ve moved on from a nursery, calling for crafting the perfect big kid room. At that point, that glider might be little more than an unused piece cluttering the space. However, because you chose the best glider possible, the durable rocking chair is likely still in decent shape—consider donating it to add a special touch to another baby’s room and help you declutter your home in the process.
Involve the little ones
Behind the international phenomenon of her KonMari method, tidying expert Marie Kondo swears by one key concept: decluttering and organizing your items can be fun! Just as importantly, she shows that teaching this same concept to your children is easier than you might imagine. She teaches her own children that tidying is akin to play. Even if your kiddos don’t believe that cleaning and organizing are fun, involving them in the process is a great way to encourage them to take responsibility and do their part.
Find solutions that work for everyone
With her blog, podcast, YouTube channel, and HGTV series Hot Mess House, Cas Aarssen introduced the world to four distinct organizing styles, which she calls “clutter bugs.” A system like this can help you determine how best to organize with the others in your family. For instance, most children are butterflies in Cas’ approach, meaning they prefer macro organizing with visual solutions. You might identify it as a different bug but can find ways to combine these styles in an effective organizational system for everyone involved.
When you live with kids, it’s more challenging to keep your home organized. Challenging doesn’t mean impossible, though—with the right strategies, you can ensure your home is decluttered and tidy as your little ones grow up.