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Clutter Challenges With Children, Part 1

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At this point we all know that if we had less clutter in our homes, it would be SO much easier to keep clean. This is not new information. The problem is, actually making a clutter-free home a reality. It’s HARD!

If we were just single ladies with no children, only responsible for our own stuff in our own space, our likelihood of success would certainly be higher, but where is the fun in that? 

We have families, which means we have extra stuff everywhere, and until we figure out how to consistently deal with all of the stuff, we will have a clutter problem.

I don’t want you to feel bad about decluttering though. This is a problem that a LOT of moms are dealing with, it’s not just you…and it’s not your fault! We live in a time when there is more “stuff” than ever before, and so learning to effectively deal with it is a relatively new problem.

In order to truly fix the problem, I feel that we need to truly understand it first. In my mind, the problem of clutter boils down to three basic areas…and today we will discuss the first.

Problem 1- Stuff Breeds More Stuff

 

I have noticed in my own home that when one of my spaces becomes cluttered, somehow more clutter accumulates in that same space. It’s as if once a space isn’t clear, we give ourselves permission to continue down that same path and just make it worse.

On the flipside, if a space is perfectly decluttered and organized, that space also tends to stay neater.

I believe there is a subconscious switch in our brain that gets flipped when clutter accumulates. It’s almost as if our brain gives up on that one area. And once our brain gives up, the clutter starts to pile up.

I’m thinking of my kitchen countertop. If I don’t go through the mail daily and get rid of the junk, and hand the bills, etc. to my husband, it will start to pile up. And then, if the mail piles up, I’m likely to leave my handbag on the counter instead of hanging it in the closet. The kids will inevitably start leaving food out on the counter instead of putting it away. Empty grocery bags won’t get thrown away…someone will leave a hat, and maybe a tote bag, and before you know it…there isn’t a single clear space on the whole ten foot island!

So what do we do about it?


Solution 1- Daily Decluttering

 

Once you get an area decluttered, it doesn’t take long at all to keep it that way. The place where most people run into trouble is being intentional about maintaining clutter-free zones…especially when you are decluttering with children.

If you are trying to streamline this process as much as possible, you will need to be a student of your family’s habits…

What are the areas where clutter tends to pile up? How long does it take to pile up?

If you are able to answer these two questions, then you can make a plan to declutter on a daily basis.

In my home, the areas that are clutter magnets are: 

  • The end of my kitchen island
  • The end tables in my sitting room AND living room
  • Our school table
  • Both nightstands in the master bedroom
  • The hutch in our dining room
  • The top of my washer and dryer
  • The kitchen counter near my coffee maker

All of these spaces need to be decluttered daily except for the washer and dryer, the nightstands, and the end tables in the living room…these need to be done weekly.

If I am actually decluttering the spaces daily and weekly, each space takes less than a minute because the clutter hasn’t had a chance to build up!

I would much rather spend a few minutes daily to keep my spaces clear than to have to spend 5-10 minutes per space once a week…

The solution to this type of clutter problem is basically the same type of solution we use all of the time as Freedom Moms. A little bit of focused work on a daily basis creates big results. And of course, this all boils down to habits.

Building up strong decluttering habits is foundational to keeping a clean and comfortable home, and implementing this solution for a few minutes daily will go a long way towards making your home feel more “put together” at all times. 

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Ashley is committed to helping ALL Moms (working moms, stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, ADHD moms, and any other kind of Mom who wants a change!) realize and achieve a calm, peaceful, neat space that really feels like Home Sweet Home.