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As a mom, you quickly realize that if you don’t have a plan there’s going to be chaos. Part of that chaos can usually be attributed to the clutter that comes along with a growing family. In today’s guest post Samara from Tiny Fry shows you how to use minimalist strategies to maintain a clutter free home.
10 Crazy Simple Tips for a Clutter Free Home
Of course, it’s not always easy to deal with that much chaos in your life, especially if you’re the one who ends up having to clean up everything.
Truth be told, family clutter can be hard to tackle, even if you only have one child. That’s where the magic of minimalism comes into play!
Read this book: Clutter Free Kids : Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home
Minimalism is the concept of keeping family clutter to a minimum in order to appreciate what you have.
It’s a lifestyle that involves a lot of organization and thoughtfulness when it comes to what you decide to keep and what you decide to throw away.
Want to give your family a lesson in minimalism? Here are 10 strategies you can use without causing issues with your partner and kiddos.
Make a point of starting early
The sooner you start working minimalism into your life, the better.
You don’t have to wait for a milestone event in order to start simplifying. You can start today.
The sooner you start making the conscious decision to declutter and organize your life the faster you will start reaping the benefits.
You can certainly start taking baby steps toward minimizing. You make progress when you:
- Decide to donate a few items of clothing that don’t fit as you sort your laundry
- Take down old notices off the refrigerator while you cook dinner
- Throw out expired spices and canned foods when you put your new pantry items away
Clarify WANTS vs. NEEDS
This is a challenging concept, even for most adults.
Our culture is so focused on material items and convenience that it takes a mindset shift to break these clutter causing habits.
Minimalism is about more than just having a neat and tidy home. It’s about being mindful of our impulses and spending habits.
Here are a few strategies to get you started if this is challenging for you:
- Stop making purchases just because it’s a good deal or on sale
- Make a shopping list and only purchase items on the list
- Avoid malls or “trigger” stores (ie Target, TJ Mxx etc).
But how do you get your kids to count their blessings?
Teach them to practice gratitude from an early age. Introduce them to the idea that material things are not important. Aim to have them master the concept of distinguishing between a necessity and an indulgence.
One in, one out
The easiest way to maintain a clutter free home is to set a maximum number for different items in your home.
Just think of all the areas that this will work for:
- Kid’s toys
- Winter items like jackets, umbrellas, rain boots and scarves
- Coffee/Travel Mugs
When you know something will have to leave in order for an new addition it teaches you to be more mindful of your choices.
Material objects don’t provide happiness
Sit down and make a list of the top 5 things in life that bring you joy. I am guessing that the list will be full of people and experiences, not things.
In fact, neuroscientists have discovered 5 things that will make you happy:
- Listen to music from the happiest time of your life
- Think about goals for the future
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid procrastination
When we realize that material possessions don’t create lasting joy, we have layed the groundwork towards a minimalist lifestyle.
Maintaining a clutter free home becomes much easier when you know that a new knick knack, handbag, or kitchen gadget is not going to make you happier. In fact, it will just make your house messy.
Keep large sets of kids’ toys in highly organized storage bins
It’s no secret that helping your family organize kids’ craft supplies, among other toys, can greatly reduce messes around the house.
It’s not a bad idea to invest in the right organizational tool to reduce clutter!
Related Post: Simple Solutions to Organize Kid’s Craft Supplies
Make organization fun
No one said that cleaning and organizing has to be boring! If you have kids and want to keep things tidy make a game out of it.
- Turn on some good music when it’s time to do an evening pick up
- Set a timer and see who can pick up the most items
- Offer a small reward (ideally an experience and not an object, in the spirit of minimalism) for the kiddo who keeps his area cleanest.
You might be surprised at how much fun it can be to declutter with kids if you turn it into a game.
Use cleaning time as family bonding time
The family that works and plays together stays clean together. Designate a family cleaning time, and use that time to bond with your kids.
While they’re putting away items, ask them how school has been, tell them about your day, and turn it into family time.
Eventually, they’ll start associating decluttering with family memories.
It’s important that everyone in the household view decluttering as a positive experience. It can be hard to let go of items, if it is not already a habit.
Whether it’s your spouse or child who is having a hard time:
- Praise them for donating items to people who are in need
- Comment on how helpful it has been to have them on board with the process
- Share your appreciation for their support and progress
It’s a sign of maturity that should be celebrated more often.
Lead by example
You can’t really expect others to lead a minimalist lifestyle without doing it yourself.
If you want your family members to understand the importance of reducing family clutter, you’ll have to start with your own mess!
This is especially true of children. Children learn through observation.
You can set a good example by allowing them to see you:
- Keep items picked up around the house
- Talk through your thought process when making a purchase
- Regularly include them in maintenance declutter sessions
If they are used to a clutter free home they will feel most comfortable when everything is neat and tidy, and be more likely to naturally help you maintain it.
Adopting a minimal lifestyle isn’t something that happens overnight
If you’re frustrated, just take a deep breath and remember that these things take time.
Eventually, the new habits will stick and the clutter free home you have always dreamt of will become a reality.
There you have it mama! 10 Minimalist Tips to a Clutter Free Home!
We would love to hear from you! What is your biggest challenge when it comes to keeping a your home clutter free? Please comment below!
Samara Kamenecka is a VA specialized in SEO and writing, based in Madrid. When she’s not chained to her desk working, she likes to explore the city with her family. Follow along with her parenting adventures and product reviews on Tiny Fry, or catch up with her on Pinterest.