Clutter, unfortunately, finds it’s way into most homes, but it’s reported that it can cause poorer mental health, less efficient thinking and visual processing. When children are involved it’s likely that clutter can increase with the addition of toys and the potential to keep them longer than necessary. It’s easy to live with clutter, but there are some quick and simple ways to effectively declutter the worst areas and attempt the minimalist look. Effective storage can really help, as can regular clear outs and a mindset to put things away.
Don’t spread it
In many homes, the hallway is the first place we enter and so is at risk of becoming a dumping ground for shoes, coats and bags as we come through the door. Invest in a shoe rack and hooks for coats and become disciplined at using them and encourage your children and guests to do the same. Find somewhere safe and less obvious than the hall table to store your keys and a letter tray, box or drawer can be used to keep all new paperwork in one place. If you have space then allocate a drawer to each member of the household to keep their things together.
Make time for change
It’s reported that clutter can also negatively affect children as it may create a disturbed and stressful environment and may prevent them from finding a toy when they want it. So although it might be intimidating to attempt to clear a whole room in one go, so try and get into a habit of decluttering an area every week. This might be ten minutes one morning or at the weekend, but gradually you will start to see improvement. Regularly go through your children’s clothes or toys with them to review which can be given away. There may be items that they want to keep, but rarely need, so move them into a garage or outdoor storage if you have it.
Storage and rewards
Children probably don’t need all the toys they have. So move some into storage containers and place under beds or high up in wardrobes. Every now and then swap the stored with the current ones and it will feel like their birthday. Encourage them to clear away games and put them back in their boxes after use, or all the lego in a container when they have finished with it. Create a reward chart or marble jar for effective tidying and let it become a habit to clear up after themselves.
It’s easy to let clutter take over and it may feel like just one more thing for a busy parent to deal with at home. Try to commit to gradual decluttering and involve your children to make them responsible for their rooms. Hopefully, the more you practice the art of decluttering, the more it will become a habit for all the family.