Back to articles Team Up Against Clutter with Your Kids

Categories: Parenting Organizing

Maintaining a clutter-free home works best if you involve your entire family. But how do you stay motivated to keep your family involved when it can be such a struggle to get others to change their habits?

One trick is to maintain a long-term perspective. A long-term perspective is an essential component in teaching your kids how to organize and help keep your home clutter-free.

For just a minute, think back to the last time you made a significant change in your life. Perhaps it was when you started a new diet and lost some weight. Maybe it was when you created a new exercise habit, or when you began your own organizing journey. Can you recall how it felt at the beginning? Did it require several starts and stops and ups and downs before you got into the groove of creating this change in your life? Change is a dynamic process and it isn't linear. We move forward, then we move back. But if you stick with your goal and tweak your approach, you will create change.

You're probably already shaking your head after reading the headline, thinking, 'it just doesn't work that way in my house.' But the truth is, your house is no different than any other we've worked in, and, because organizing is a learned skill, it can become a habit. What better time to instill a life-long skill than in childhood? Simplify and speed your organizing day along by enlisting your family to help is not only practical, but logical in the long run. Accountability and having the whole family on board is one of the cornerstones of a successful organizing project. Still don't think your kids will participate? Make it a fun event and you'll have volunteers you will enjoy spending the day with. Like many organizing activities, the key to success is to plan ahead. Pick a date you can dedicate the whole day to both the work and fun. Make certain you have the supplies you need. Work in teams of 2 or 3 and then switch halfway through the day. Play some up-tempo music to keep the energy levels up. Most kids have four basic possessions ~ clothing, toys, books and school related papers. These items are forever changing and accumulating.The change of season is a great opportunity to sort through the excess taking up valuable space in your home.

If being consistently involved in the decluttering, organizing and maintaining of your home is something new for your family members, they will have ups and downs and stops and starts along the way. This is something new for them. If you recognize this up front and keep your eye on the long-term benefits of working together to create this change, you will all get where you want to be. (And you'll enjoy the process more, too!)

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