5 Tips for living a clutter-free life with kids

There are some days when I feel like I have all of my ducks in a row - the washing is done, the sofa cushions are nicely plumped and my sink is nice and shiny.

Then there are days when my house is littered with teeny tiny pieces of LEGO. You can picture the scene, there I am trying to manoeuvre myself through to the sofa, wincing in pain with every step!

As a mum of three, you might imagine that most of the time my house leans towards the messy side of things but actually, we have great routines in place that mean we live a fairly clutter-free life.

People never believe me, but as soon as I share a few tips they soon see that they could do the same!

1. Get the kids involved. From a young age, mine have been putting their own clothes away and tidying their toys at the end of every day. A great way to get them involved is by putting on music and announcing a 10-minute dance and tidy blitz. By making it fun, they don’t see it as a chore.

Top tip: make it into a competitive game by seeing who can pick up 5 or 10 things the quickest - they love it!

2. Cut down on toys. It is one of the hardest things to do, especially when well-meaning friends and family have bought them, but it will make such a difference. If children have too many toys they will become overwhelmed and end up playing with nothing at all, but reduce the amount they have and you’ll see they use everything a lot more. Put aside a day or two and be ruthless - you can do it!

Top tip: If they put up a fight, tell them they can keep everything as long as it fits within a box/ tub etc.. So instead of 27 Barbies they can only keep the 10 that fit in the draw. It makes it easy for them to visualise the excess.

3. A home for everything. Do you feel as though you don’t have enough storage? Well, maybe it is that you actually have too much stuff for the size of the home you have. So get rid! If it doesn’t have a home and a home can’t be made - get rid of it. Start with a kitchen drawer - empty it out and chuck away the junk. Start small and work up to the bigger jobs like your clothes!

Top tip: Get a box and set a timer for 5 minutes. Go around your house and anything that is out of place and you don’t particularly want to keep goes in the box. See how much you can gather and then get rid of it all - let someone else get good use out of your unwanted items.

4. Set an example. Children learn by watching the adults around them. So keep your room tidy and keep on top of your own chores. They will want to copy you and honestly, tidiness is addictive. If you don’t know where to start - shine your sink. If your sink is clean and shiny I can guarantee you will want to make the rest of the kitchen tidy... then there will be no stopping you!

Top tip: Whenever you ask them to tidy, make sure to tell them that you are going to be tidying too. Show them that you are all part of a team and everyone needs to keep their own belongings in order. And remember, putting on music motivates everyone!

See Katie in our spring issue!

#familylife #declutter #kids