As an aunt of twelve and a nanny of four, I’ve seen how much clutter children can add to a home. Plus, I was that kid. If that’s you and you missed last weeks post, it’s called 5 Ways for You (and your child) to Ditch being a Packrat.
But today, here are 3 specific things you can put into practice that will help minimize that clutter:
- Teach them to say no to what they don’t love. This can be applied to both items and events. I originally heard it through Essentialism. Have them rate things on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst and 10 the best). If it isn’t at least an 8-10 or maybe even just a 9 or 10, then teach them that they don’t have to keep it or do it. Imagine only having and doing things you absolutely love! Of course they may try to throw out doing homework, but you can remind them that the consequences of not doing that wouldn’t be a 9 or 10.
- Let them hear you say things like: “I feel so free without that,” and “I’m glad I decided not to go to that event so that I can spend time with you.” Try not to let them hear you say: “But I might need this one day,” or “I wish I had gone to that party. I bet they’re having so much fun.”
- Set up their room so that it’s easier to put things away than it is to take them out. This advice is from Marie Kondo. The point is that they will work hard to get a toy that they want to play with, but they aren’t necessarily happy to put it back nice and neat. If clean up is easy and quick, then they’re more likely to do it without as much complaint.
As you do these things, keep in mind that people are more important than a clutter-free home. Your kids probably won’t change overnight and possibly never to the extent that you desire for them to, but if you push them too much then it may backfire. (More on that next week. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.) You don’t want them to hate and dread decluttering.
Show them that it can be fun sometimes and that it’s also one of those important skills that we don’t always want to do but should anyway.
What has worked for you in getting rid of your kids clutter? Share your knowledge in the comments so everyone can benefit.