If you have children, you are probably used to finding their belongings strewn all over the house. Their toys and books can easily pile up and overwhelm your sense of order. To minimize clutter in your home, create a plan for ordering your children's toys and your home. Set realistic goals for what you would like to achieve and have a plan for all the items you want to remove from your home.
Method 1 of 3: Follow a Cleaning Routine
Step 1. Tidy up one room at a time
Toys and children's things seem to find their place in every corner of the house. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, choose one room to tidy up at a time. If you're ready to take on a challenge, order your child's bedroom or playroom first. If you want to start small, choose a room that has some of your child's things, like your bedroom or bathroom.
Be realistic about your goals. You can order your child's toys if you take time between rooms to take breaks and donate the toys. This will prevent them from accumulating in your garage or attic
Step 2. Set goals
You may want to tidy up your entire house, but this can be difficult if you have young children running around. Think about what is most important to order and focus on setting realistic goals rather than goals that will only cause you stress and anxiety.
For example, instead of saying, "I'll tidy up the whole house while the kids are home in the morning," set a more reasonable goal like, "I'll tidy up the living room in the afternoon while the kids nap."
Step 3. Start with a small space
If your child's clutter is all over the place, you may not even know where to start. Try to order a small space first so that you have a sense of accomplishment and to familiarize yourself with sorting things out. For example, tidy up a small closet or bedroom before moving on to the playroom.
Ordering a small space will also help you gain confidence to continue. This will give you motivation to move on and tidy up the other spaces in the house
Step 4. Set a timer
If you have younger children, you may have trouble finding the time to order. Try to set a timer for 15-30 minutes so you can have a quick cleaning session. This is also a good idea if you have trouble motivating yourself to start homework. If you have older children and can spend time ordering, write deadlines on the goals you set.
For example, if your goal is to tidy up the game room and garage, commit to spending no more than 2 hours in the game room and no more than 3 hours in the garage. Respect this time frame
Method 2 of 3: Sort the Toys
Step 1. Get your kids involved
If your children are old enough (they are at least 5 years old), have them help you sort their toys. Explain that you will only take the toys with which they do not play and make it clear that these toys will go to other children who will really enjoy playing with them. Be prepared to explain to your children what you do so they don't get upset or think you are punishing them. Getting your kids involved can actually make it easier to tidy up your house.
- If your children are very young and cannot help you or would be upset, order their toys when they are sleeping or outside the house. Just don't get rid of any toys that they are emotionally fond of.
- For example, tell your children, “We will spend a few minutes sorting the toys that they will no longer play with. This way we can donate them to the children who need them and they will have more space to play!”.
Step 2. Consider what toys you want your children to play with
Whether you are selling or ordering the toys your children have, think about what kinds of toys you want for them. Would you like them to play with educational or imaginative toys? Should the toys be well made or of high quality? Do you already have another version of the same toy?
Asking yourself these questions will help you decide what to keep and what to get rid of
Step 3. Sort toys before major holidays or celebrations
Chances are, your kids get gifts from friends and relatives a couple of times a year. If these events are coming up, take some time beforehand to order their toys. This will prevent them from accumulating and will even make children more appreciative of their new toys.
For example, if Christmas is coming up, take the time to fill a few bags of new toys to donate. Try to follow an individual rule when it comes to toys coming into your home
Step 4. Put away and alternate the toys you have
Once you've sorted your children's toys, divide them up. Put half of them in a storage space that your kids don't have access to. Let them play with the half you decided to have outside. When your kids get bored of playing with toys, replace them with the toys you saved.
This will also prevent toys that are not being used from accumulating. Your children will be more likely to play with their toys if they have space to play
Step 5. Sort the toys every few months
Toys can add up quickly, so get in the habit of tidying up your children's toys frequently. Ask yourself if you've seen your children play with a particular toy in the last month or two. If you haven't seen them, it may be time to donate or sell it.
Getting in the habit of tidying up your house will make it easier once you've been doing it for a while. Once you order the toys, you will only have to keep what your children have and what they will receive as a gift
Method 3 of 3: Rearrange and use storage
Step 1. Choose the toys to get rid of
Things that you and your kids don't need seem to stick around longer than they need to. Look at individual objects in a room and ask yourself which ones you don't really need anymore. Here are some things to consider getting rid of:
- objects that are broken;
- clothing that does not fit you or your children;
- things you don't have space for;
- toys that your children don't play with;
- duplicate things;
- objects that are dangerous to have around your children.
Step 2. Decide what to do with the objects you don't want
Take out three boxes or containers. Label one box with "Trash," another with "Warehouse," and another with "Recycling or Donation." As you sort the toys and objects, place them in one of the boxes. Once a box is full, take it to a thrift store, organize it, find a place for it in your house, or take it to the container.
- Keep the boxes in an accessible place so that you can have the objects when you need them.
- You can also have boxes of objects to sell or give to friends.
Step 3. Consider what to keep
You may find it easy to sort through the broken or unwanted items that are piling up in your home, but have trouble figuring out what to keep. Ask yourself if an object has sentimental value or if it is something you would like to give your child as a gift. You should also keep the objects that you use frequently.
Once you've decided to keep something, you'll need to organize and store it smartly. Know where it is and be able to access it easily
Step 4. Sort and put away the children's toys
While it may be tempting to just toss all of your children's toys in one large box, it can be difficult to find specific toys because they are all together. Teach your children to put their toys away by sorting them into containers, baskets, or small containers.
For example, you can have multiple containers on one shelf. Put the building blocks, crayons and musical toys in different containers
Step 5. Decide what to show and what to hide
It's probably unrealistic to expect your children's belongings and toys to always be in their bedrooms. Instead of finding your things strewn around, create a system to organize the things you don't mind leaving out and the things you want to hide.
- For example, if you want to leave your books outside, install shelves so they can be stored in plain sight.
- To hide toys, try storing them in decorative boxes, furniture compartments, or shelf drawers.