Simple living. Minimalism. Decluttering. It seems like all of Pinterest is full of tips to live with less. But what if you have kids? I do, and I am here to tell you that when you try to declutter with kids you’re going to need to have some extra tricks up your sleeve.
How to Declutter with Kids when you have No Idea Where to Start
A few months ago I shared my favorite tips for decluttering with kids for beginners.
I wrote that article because even though there is a ton of information about decluttering online, most of the tips do not focus on families, kids bedrooms or toys.
While that post covers the basics, I know there are a lot of you who are ready for more ideas and support on your path to clutter-free living.
So, in order to help you all out I did what any smart mom would do; I asked other moms!
Today we have 10 moms (including me) sharing their best tips for how to declutter with kids.
I have to say that even after three years of simplifying and minimizing, even I found these tips helpful. I am planning to slide a few of these tricks up my sleeve for my next deep-decluttering session.
The 10 Best Tips on How to Declutter with Kids from Busy Moms
One in – One out is what decluttering is all about
Rachael | Uninvincible Mom
My best tip for decluttering is more of a preventative measure: clean as you go!
I have always taught my toddler to put one toy away before taking out the next, and although he often needs many reminders and some help, it has worked really well for us so far. Not only does it keep his play space organized, it helps him learn responsibility and crucial life skills so that later on he won’t be overwhelmed by the chaos of clutter!
I’d also like to add that we create a space for everything. If we buy something new, I try to plan ahead for where it will go or buy something along with it that will make for easy storage so things aren’t just collecting along the walls or piling up in the closet. Having an organizational method has allowed us to keep everything pretty neat so far!
Mom approved solution: Toy Storage Activity Mat
Bridget | This Mom Life
When a new toy is purchased or given to my son, we try our very best to abide by the rule “if one goes in, one goes out.” He gets to choose which toy leaves and we will either store it, donate it, or trash it. As an added measure we place his chore chart in the playroom and he is responsible for picking up his toys about once a week.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place
Toni | Dr Toni DDS
I love using containers, in particular, in the kids play room. My favorite store is Dollar Tree and there so many different types of containers to store toys of different shapes and sizes. I have organized my kids toys by type.
For example planes in one container and Hot Wheels in another. It seems like my kids are always gaining new toys. So, every other month I go through the kids toys and throw out the broken ones or the ones they won’t miss. 😉 Then I fill a small bag with the toys they no longer play with to donate to Goodwill.
Mom approved solution: Children’s Artwork and Project Organizer
Toy Rotation to help Tame the Clutter
Michelle | Grown-Up Essentials
We just set up a toy rotation system.
There are only 7-10 toys out at any time. Every week we swap those out with ones from storage bins.
It’s led to improved engagement with the toys that are out, longer periods of independent play, crazy quick clean up, and a more peaceful environment.
The initial organization and storage task took me a few days during nap times. The weekly swap out takes about 15 minutes. It been 100% worth the effort and I’ll never go back to having everything out all the time.
Out of Sight. Out of Mind
Dr. Elise Ho | Ask Dr. Ho
Put all of the toys that you think your child no longer needs into a box that is not see through. Wait one month, if they do not ask for the item in that time than it is time to give it away. A simple process to declutter with kids.
Clear the clutter before celebrations
Sarah | A Simple and Contented Life
Prevent clutter from building back up again by having a good clear out before their birthday and before Christmas. Donate, recycle or sell any toys you know they no longer play with so there’s plenty of room for any new ones they’re like to receive as presents.
Lois | Foxglove Avenue
Before you even think about decluttering your kids’ room, consider where you could donate the no longer wanted toys, books, and clothes. Get your child involved in picking a charity, if that’s age appropriate, and let them know how their unwanted things will help another child less fortunate than themselves.
I find this is best done before Christmas, birthdays and other holidays. So why not make it an appointment and schedule it in your planner? Slow and steady decluttering definitely beats one massive stress-inducing session. Good luck, mama!
Clever Tools to the Rescue
Melissa | Pen and Parent
My son has been a Lego fanatic for the past few years. He’s got four huge Rubbermaid bins full of bricks because some were passed down from my husband.
They all end up on the floor it seems like. Picking those up by hand can take forever.
My solution: I bought a snow shovel and now scoop them all up and toss them into the bins in minutes. He’s old enough to do this himself now. Sure, they aren’t organized but they are off the floor so I can vacuum. In order to further de-clutter his room, we’ve also been talking about selling or donating some of the Legos.
Mom approved solution: Stuff-n-Sit Storage Bean Bag
Give them an Incentive (money always works)
Bethany | Strength. Love. Birth.
Offer to help sell their unused toys or clothes and they get some of the profit! This works especially well for kids who just have a hard time letting go of belongings.
I recently found my daughter’s old but in great shape toddler bedding. When I mentioned I was going to sell it on Facebook, she balked at the idea. But then her face brightened and she asked, “Can I have some of the money?”
We made a deal, then she went right back to her room and brought out some toys she’d outgrown but couldn’t bear to part with. All of a sudden, decluttering became something worth doing for her!
Lead by example
Lauren | Simply-Well-Balanced
Kids are naturals at imitating what they see and hear. This is most evident when your two year old starts saying that “adults only” phrase on repeat 😉
By keeping your house tidy, donating unused items, and clearning clutter regularly your child will naturally pick up these habits over time. When you clean out your pantryor go through your own closet invite your children help. You can give them a chance to participate by asking them questions like:
- Do you think we still need this?
- When was the last time we used this?
- What is the expiration date?
- Do we have more than one of these?
By thinking about and responding to these questions your child will feel like they have the skills and abilities to make decision about the items in their environment. Once they can answer these questions, they will be able to use them for their own items and space. Tada! You have just done your part to prevent your child from ending up on an episode of Hoarders in 20 years 😉 Ha!
Related Post: Clean House Tips for Busy Moms
Tips to Declutter with Kids
There you have it mama! The best tips to get you started on your path to declutter with kids from 10 busy moms who are in the trenches with you.
We would love to hear from you! What is your biggest challenge when it comes to cleaning and kids? Please comment below!