Some time ago, I had my very first and important speech for my business Home in Balance on „How to stay organized with kids” for a group of mums living in the Nyon (Vaud) area.
I feel very related to this topic as I am also a mum of a 16-month old charming girl.
I was speaking in front of 30 women; each of them is a mum of at least one child in the age of 0 to 4 years. So, all of them, including me, know how difficult it can be to maintain a clean, neat and organized home with kids around. In addition, when the own husband is as disorganized as a kid! (Like mine)
Thus, today I would like to share with you some important information, which I was talking about during my presentation.
First of all, let’s get clear why the problem with a messy and cluttered home exist.
We have a habit of acquiring excessively. Because items are pilling up around the house, we don’t have time to sort and throw them out regularly. Be aware, that if you have less items it takes obviously less time to go through all of them, right? In addition, when you have too many things, they often get lost in the mess and you don’t want to WASTE your time to find them. So instead, you WASTE your time and money to go shopping and to buy duplicates.
Another problem is that we buy all of this useless stuff, because we believe that we need it and it makes us happy, but instead, it makes us feel overwhelmed and guilty!
Many of you/us are not aware of the problem, because if you/we live this life long-termly, it becomes your/our reality. Even when you realize you have a problem, you always find excuses to prevent yourself from implementing changes.
Am I right?
Even if you personally don’t have a problem to be organized, eventually your family members have? Have you ever wondered why?
The most important is clear communication. Your husband, kids or relatives need to understand exactly what needs to be done and what expectations you have.
The next point is that , they might feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to start. Thus, be a role model for them: show them how to start and work with them.
Moreover, kids may not be sure where all those pieces they pick up off the floor belong, which can eventually cause anxiety and lack of organization.
Or they may not have the tools they need to complete their task. The (lego) blocks should be in one place, but there is no box to put them all. So they are always around the floor. Invest in nice boxes assigned to specific toys – for animals, lego, cars etc.
OK, so now you know why the problem exists and let’s suppose you are motivated to implement changes. Below you will find solutions how to resolve the problem with a cluttered home.
The first and most important step you have already done. You have recognized your problem and you are willing to work on it. That means a lot already!
The next step is to get rid of all old, spoiled and duplicate items and only keep the things that bring you and your family members joy.
What I (regularly/usually) notice when parents want their kids to declutter, is that kids hold on to all kinds of weird junk although the parents want them to get rid of it. Obviously, the kids then notice the disapproval of their parents and are finally ready to get rid of that toy, but then parents shame them saying "Oh My Gosh Grandma gave you that! You must keep it!!"
We want them to declutter and be tidy but as soon as they make their first big decision, they get shamed.
I believe we're doing our children a big disservice by giving them too many items that they cannot possibly keep in order. There is no way kids can keep tidy among these amounts of things that we gift them each year.
How many toys your kid has?
Tell your relatives to not buy more toys! For sure the number you own is enough. Probably your baby plays only with 30% of them. Even if a child is excited by a new toy when s/he gets it, they usually go back to the old and favorite ones.
Some ideas for your relatives and your husband for clutter-free gifts for your children and family:
spending time with the kids (with old toys) playing – for me it is the MOST IMPORTANT ONE!
take them to an amusement park and make memories,
gift certificates for swimming lessons, music lessons etc.
How many clothes do you have? If you have to many the drawers are crowded – it is the first step into frustration. You have much more ironing – so you waste your time to do it – you could read a good book or spent time with your hubby- I assume that you iron as I do it in the evenings when the baby sleeps due to security reasons. You don’t have a problem – how to dress your baby- If you have too much choice, the best indication is more difficult.
Let’s talk about benefits:
Reduce stress by diminishing the physical and visual clutter in your home- it is very important to feel comfortable and relaxed at your home. In my own experience, I can honestly say that how your house looks has a big influence on your mood. When you come back to messy and cluttered home even though you might think it doesn’t matter, subconsciously you are already overwhelmed and discouraged.
Reduce clutter – your home is clean, clutter free and neat.
Save time by finding what you need when you need it. And of course you don’t waste your time to go shopping again.
Save money by knowing what you have, eliminate excess purchasing of unnecessary items
Gain control over your surroundings, time and life
No fear and embarrassment- you don’t have to worry about unexpected guests. Now they are welcome even in the middle of the night.
Once you finish sorting, you know what to keep and what not. The last thing to do is to put all items back to drawers, shelves etc. put them nicely, neat, looking good, organized, good system. Don’t put them back to a dirty place, clean it first!
I strongly believe that now you are aware that it is unreal to have clean and neat home. And you know that you don’t need more, for sure no more toys. Twenty bodies for your baby or thirty t-shirts are also too many!
“If you own less, you don’t have a mess”.
Summarizing, my speech was a big success for me and I can’t wait for more of this kind of challenges.
If you have any questions and you need more details I am here to help you. So do not hesitate to contact me by email or FB.