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Clutter Challenges With Children, Part 2

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In my first post of this clutter series, I discussed how important it is to keep your clutter magnets clear, you can read that clutter post here. Now that we are keeping those spots clear, let’s move onto a second common clutter problem that I frequently see in families with children…

And let’s be clear, this is always going to be a problem, as long as you have children in the home…it doesn’t mean that you or your children are failing in any area. It’s just one of those things that go along with raising children. 

 

Clutter Challenge 2- Children Bring In Their Own Clutter

 

There are so many different ways that children bring clutter into the home, and if we are not super intentional, things can get out of hand very quickly!

Right off the top of my head I’m thinking about Sunday School papers, school papers, snack wrappers that don’t get thrown away, rocks, sticks and leaves collected outside, forgotten art projects, outgrown clothes and shoes, the list is endless.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m singling out children. Clutter will accumulate rapidly for ANY human who is not intentional. However, children don’t generally think about getting rid of things and keeping a clutter-free space.

Unless…

They are trained to!

I know what you’re probably thinking…

“I can’t even get my child to keep his room clean, there’s no way I’m going to be able to teach him how to declutter too!”

I’m here to assure you that it most certainly is possible. It’s not going to happen on its own though. This requires a mother who is 100% committed to the process, and who is willing to teach, supervise, and provide accountability.

But most of all, this requires a mother who is setting a good example and endeavoring to control clutter herself as well.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this yet…but children have “hypocrite detectors” that will pick up on the slightest hint of “do as I say, not as I do”! So you’re going to have to make sure that you are walking the walk.

Clutter Solution 2- Teach Your Children How To Declutter

 

I want you to take just a minute to think about how powerful it would be if your child learned to regularly declutter their room, backpack, and any other personal spaces that he is responsible for.

This is what we are aiming for!

I would suggest starting small. Really just five minutes that are focused on one small spot…a backpack would be a perfect starting point.

Sit with your child and help him quickly and decisively choose what stays and what goes.

The key here is to respect the timer. When the timer goes off, the job stops, whether it’s completely finished or not.

This is the best way that I have found to easily get my children doing the chore the next time and the next time. If your child can trust that it’s just going to take five minutes, they will not fight to get out of it.

It’s important to remember that you are trying to help your child develop a new habit, and five minutes a day, over time, accomplishes the job nicely!

The next day, again set the timer and sit with your child. If there is still work to be done on the backpack, finish it up. If there is time, move on to another small space like a drawer, under the bed, the top of the nightstand, etc.

Help your child choose which area to address next, and then help him work through the process.

Five minutes a day is all it takes, and if your child’s effort is focused, it won’t take too long before everything is ship-shape! And remember, the more your children are dealing with their own clutter, the less that clutter is going to overflow into the rest of the house!

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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.