Decluttering itself can be a lot of work, how in the world are we supposed to manage it with kids underfoot telling us they need a snack every 5 minutes while simultaneously destroying the next room?
It’s not easy, but somehow I’ve managed to do a decent amount of decluttering with a toddler around and have picked up a few tips that I want to share with you.
Declutter in small pockets of time
At least around here, a massive decluttering session just doesn’t happen. My son does not have a long enough attention span for me to be tackling the clutter for hours at a time.
And if we’re being honest, I get burnt out pretty quickly too.
What works for us is decluttering in the small pockets of time we may have.
For example, the other day we were upstairs putting laundry away and he was busy playing. Since he was still occupied when I was done, I decided to quickly tackle underwear and sock drawers that needed to be dealt with.
I got most of the way done before little man decided that he needed to “help.” While I’m all about him helping and learning chores, this wasn’t something he needed to be involved in at that moment.
So even though the socks were still spread out on the floor, we went downstairs and onto another activity. I was able to quickly finish the sock project on a separate trip upstairs later that day.
One small area at a time
If you’re working in small pockets of time, it’s really not realistic to try and tackle an entire room at once. I find it much easier to work on one drawer, cabinet, or small area at a time.
Once you finish that small area it gives a sense of satisfaction. That leads to momentum and motivation to keep going the next time you have a small amount of time to work in.
Make it a priority
Next, let’s chat about some ways to really make decluttering a priority. Because let’s face it, there are a LOT of different things we could do in those small pockets of time we talked about.
How do we stay focused?
First, consider what can you do/reschedule to make sure you can focus. Clearing your schedule as much as possible for a week can help you make some massive progress.
Create a schedule or at least have a list of small areas to decluttering. Having at least a small plan in place will give you focus for when the time comes to declutter.
Another great way to make it a priority and get everyone involved is to Include your kids in the process. Little kids love to help, even if it takes longer it’s totally worth it. You could give them the task of putting items in the correct box.
Free up more time
Finally, let’s go over a few ways to free up some extra time to declutter. There’s no shame in taking some shortcuts for a couple of days in order to declutter your home – because the end result will make managing your home so much easier.
Frozen pizza, skillet dinners, or even throwing something in the crockpot so you don’t have to worry about it all day are all great ways to free up the time you’d usually spend preparing dinner.
I love making a soup or chili in the slow cooker on a busy day, or even a one-pot dish like a beef stew. These are all things that I can get going in the morning in order to free up some extra afternoon time.
Next, you can also put together some fun busy activities for toddlers. You can search on Pinterest and find loads of ideas. And better yet, most supplies can be found at the dollar store.
I love trying out new, creative activities for my little guy. And if he likes it, it’s something I can go back to every once in a while when I really need to get something done.
And now screen time. In my opinion, there’s no harm in letting the kiddos watch an extra movie so you can get some high priority tasks done – like decluttering. I try to limit screen time, but if we’re in survival mode that day or I have a project I HAVE to get done, you can bet my little guy is happily curled up watching some Disney.
Alright, mama, so we’ve covered a lot here. But boiling it down to the basics, the best way I’ve learned how to declutter with kids is to fit small projects into the little pockets of time you find throughout your day. There are also ways to really make decluttering a priority and ideas to free up some extra time to get it done.
You’ve got this! In no time your home is going to be clear of the clutter and turned into the relaxing haven that you crave.