Many moms wonder how their children somehow keep them so much busier than they could attribute to the homework and the caregiving chores involved. There are a number of reasons why this happens. One of the most significant ones, though, involves clutter. With mountains of toys, clothes, school projects and books to play with, and an ability to spread stuff around, kids naturally tend towards chaos.
It is possible to maintain some semblance of order with kids in the house, though. You simply need to learn a few tricks of the trade. The bonus that you get out of all this is that when you run an ordered house, you’ll spend a lot less time looking for things. You’ll be less on edge, and you’ll save time.
Organize, but only a little at a time
When you look around a house in complete disarray, the thought of getting any organizing done can seem overwhelming. The trick is to leave the whole house out of your immediate consciousness, and simply focus on one thing at a time. Take the shoe rack, the drawer for the kids’ art supplies or maybe a couple of shelves in the bedroom. You can’t be impatient. When you keep plugging away at the job, one or two things a day, you’ll begin to see the difference in a week or so. If the kids tear everything apart in the meantime, it will still help to keep plugging away.
Be somewhat merciless decluttering
You’re proud of the artwork that your kids make, and you’d like to retain as much as possible. You need to realize, though, that much of it isn’t going to mean a lot even a couple of years down the line. You want to save your kids’ artwork, but be discriminating about it. You can choose the best, and simply throw the rest away. The same goes for sports equipment, old toys, clothes and so on. The more stuff you have in your house, the harder it will be to make sense of anything.
Change a few patterns to prevent further clutter
You can spend weeks organizing drawers and cupboards, and find a couple of months later that everything’s back the way to the way it was. Behaviors that lead to clutter are one reason why this happens. While it can be hard to change set patterns, it can help to train the kids to put at least some of their things back where they belong.
Make sure that your kids actually have space for everything
Make sure you do have adequate cupboard and drawer space. You don’t want to plan on stuffing every drawer and shelf to the gills with stuff. Your kids will never want to put things away if it’s hard. Make it easy on them, and give them spacious drawers to make organizing easy. It can be an investment to buy storage furniture at first, but it can greatly help.
Sometimes, it can even help to find a bigger house or a house with more storage space. The hassle finding such home can be worth it (get more details from Ashton Burkinshaw).
Buy a few easy organizing tools
You could easily add to the clutter in your home buying clutter organizing tools — home improvement stores tend to have that many of them. You don’t have to go all out. Instead, buy a few very useful tools. An over-the-door laundry bag or shoe bag can be very useful, for instance. A wall-slung organizing bag for little things like beads, haircare products and other accessories can be a useful tool, as well.
It can make life a lot easier when you know without much work what item belongs to which kid. If you have more than one kid, decide on a color for each, and make sure that everything you buy for them — towels, toothbrushes or bedspreads — is one color. You’ll find it much easier to organize this way.
Stop buying new stuff
In many homes, casual purchases are a major reason why there tends to be too much clutter. You want to rethink things thoroughly before making a single purchase. While casual buying may seem harmless at first, these things add up. One way to make sure that you don’t buy too much is to tell yourself and your kids that you don’t ever plan to buy cheap junk. When you set the bar high, you won’t be able to buy too much, anyway.
A simpler life is the key to better organization. It isn’t just about physical clutter, either. Having too much stuff around your house can also result in mental clutter. Your mind will constantly try to keep up with all your stuff, and it’ll mean less mental freedom. Living simpler helps.
Sara Ross is a Mom with a To Do List! Friends and family envy her, thinking she somehow has more hours in a day than they do, but in reality it all comes down to organization. Sara shares her tips and tricks with other busy Mom’s through her articles.