Top 10 Decluttering Tips For Every Busy Parent
Feeling too overwhelmed to declutter? Here are 10 decluttering tips every busy parent or person needs to know to take control of the clutter.
Decluttering can feel extremely overwhelming as a busy mom or parent.
But being busy doesn’t have to mean living in chaos and clutter. A neat and tidy space can help you stay organized, and productive, and even reduce stress levels.
But if you have a job or business and kids it can feel like you are hardly keeping your life together let alone decluttering and organizing your home. The idea of decluttering your home or workspace can feel very overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are some simple tips that anyone can use to get started on their decluttering journey. In this article, we will explore ten of these techniques so that you can take back control over your environment and create a peaceful oasis in any space!
We’ll also look at how to develop an organizational system for busy professionals as well as the benefits of having a neat and tidy living area.
So let’s dive into it!
Benefits of a neat space
There are many benefits of having a neat and tidy space. Most importantly it reduces stress levels. Lower stress levels lead to better productivity and that leads to mental clarity and better sleep. A decluttered space also has positive impacts on your health and your finances.
Read more about the 7 benefits of having a decluttered space here.
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Decluttering tips for busy parents
The best way to start decluttering when you don’t have a lot of time is in small steps.
Keep it simple and attack one area at a time. You do not need to spend 2 hours or a whole day on it. You can spend only 15-20 minutes at a time if that’s what you can make time for.
Here are some simple tips to get started decluttering and to keep it that way.
1. Create a morning and evening schedule
One of the most important things you can do to get your home organized and under control is to create a schedule – a schedule for what needs to happen in the morning and a schedule for what needs to happen in the evening before everyone goes to bed.
This will help you take care of the basic organization and cleaning and stay on track with it.
Everything on the schedule can be assigned to everyone in your home. Here are a few examples:
Morning schedule :
- Make your bed
- Put away the PJs
- clean up the bathroom counter after getting dressed.
- and so on…
- Fold and put away any throw blankets in the living room.
- Pick up all the toys or books and put them away.
- make sure all the dishes are loaded in the dishwasher
Kids (and adults) thrive on a schedule and predictable actions. Start one step at a time and implement them and repeat them every day until they become second nature – when you get up off the couch, you fold the throw blanket.
2. Start small
As I mentioned above, you don’t want to try to make a huge change and shift all at once. Start small – one habit at a time, one action at a time.
This will be easily accepted by your family and easy to implement.
You can also start with one area of the house and add more areas to your schedule as you go.
As you see the effect of decluttering on one area, you will be inspired to take care of other areas as well.
3. Assign a day
For areas that require thorough decluttering and cleaning, you want to assign a day and schedule time on your calendar to take care of it.
Try choosing a weekend day so you focus on it. It doesn’t have to be every weekend. Maybe one weekend a month.
We have a shed in our backyard that never got cleaned out of the items left behind by the previous owners when we moved in. We just kept adding things in there. Over time, it had become a huge giant mess and you could barely step into it. This past summer we decided to spend a whole weekend tackling it. To our surprise, we were able to clear the whole thing out in a couple of hours and we were done in half a day. That is the power of focused time to get things done.
4. Set a timer
Nothing works like a deadline.
But what’s even more fun is trying to beat a clock.
One of my favorite ways to get my kids to clean up their rooms is to set a timer and see how long they take to pick up and clean their rooms. They are always trying to beat their last times. And over time they have realized that it’s faster to clean your room if you always put things back.
I have started to use this concept as well. If I know I have to clean up my kitchen but don’t fell like it, I set a 15 or 20-minute timer to do whatever I can and stop at the end of the timer. Guess what, I am usually done before the timer. Or I am so close to being done, I finish it up.
5. Keep locations for donate/sell
My biggest pet peeve is going through the kids’ full closet and figuring out that all those clothes are too small for them. Why keep them if you know that they don’t fit or that you are never going to be able to wear them again?
I have created a basket in the guest room closet for donations. So, if you try to wear something and figure out it doesn’t fit, put it in that basket right away.
Same with items that can be sold on the Facebook Marketplace or a garage sale. Collect them all in one location. Even better if you can list them for sale right away.
Every 3-6 months, you can take the donations to the donation centers or list them and sell them.
6. Sort through paperwork regularly
One of the biggest sources of clutter is paperwork. There are mailers, coupons, bills, kids’ artwork, permission slips, school notes… the list goes on!
Not only does it look extremely messy, but you can also miss or misplace important papers. There are multiple ways of handling this:
- create a sorting system
- go paperless where possible.
- create specific storage for specific types.
However, the most important way to handle the paper clutter is to not let it pile up. Sort through the paperwork regularly – at whatever interval makes sense for you. But definitely not longer than monthly.
You might want to start with monthly but slowly, you want to move to weekly and then to daily – add it to your evening schedule to take care of all the new paperwork.
Oh and don’t forget to shred any documents that need to be shredded right away!
7. Get rid of the “just in case” mentality
Do you need to keep something you don’t really need just in case you might need it later? The answer is no.
This is one of the main reasons for clutter.
We wish to keep items that aren’t really used just in case there is a need one day… like that $5 target platter – you don’t use it every day. But what if there is that one party when you have the perfect thing for it? Well… then you go buy it that day but trust me, you will figure out a way to serve that thing without the platter. $5 is not worth creating the clutter.
The same is true of older clothes you wore when you were skinnier… what if one day you finally lose that weight and fit in it? Well.. then you go buy new awesome clothes to reward yourself. Until then, donate those jeans and let someone in need use them.
8. Create a place for everything
It is easy for something to turn into clutter if you don’t know where it goes. The key to having a decluttered or organized space is to have a spot for everything. Once everything has a spot you know where it goes. You can put it away after using it or you know exactly where to put it when you are decluttering.
Labeling things makes a huge difference as well – especially in the kids’ rooms and closets so they know exactly where to put their belongings.
9. Clean out closets seasonally
Make sure you go through the closet during seasonal changes by removing those no longer being worn.
- have I worn this in the last twelve months?
- Do you like it?
- Does it work with other items in the closet? Does it make me happy to wear it?
Let your answers to the questions guide you to deciding if you need to keep it or let it go.
10. Reward for decluttering
Rewards make everything more fun. This is the reason why kids get stickers for doing a good job at school.
Set small goals and related rewards.
Rewards don’t have to be huge expensive things. They can be as simple as watching a movie as a family, getting to have your favorite meal, getting takeout, or going out for ice cream.
Clutter can be overwhelming and feel impossible to get under control especially if you are a busy parent. Creating simple routines and utilizing the above tips can make a huge difference! Try them and watch your home and life change!