11 Decluttering Tips for Moms
Apr 22, 2020

One of the hardest parts of having a family is keeping the house in order and a huge part of that is the sheer amount of stuff that a family can collect without realizing it. Slowly, spaces that start clear and organized get crowded and unusable. One day you wake up and look at a space and you can't remember how it got that way, but you want to change it and make those changes stick. Here are some tips for decluttering your home.

1. Put the hangers in everyone's closet backward

Pick a laundry day and when you are hanging everyone's clothes hook the hangers from the back. Make sure that every hanger is that way. For one month do laundry as you always do, putting the used clothes away normally. At the end of the month, it will be very clear what items in the closet are not worn and they can be removed to help declutter and make way for the clothes you use and love.

2. Flag items

You can do something similar with a space that you want to declutter. When you reach a point where you can't bring yourself to get rid of anything else, but you know you need to, get some sticky tabs and keep them handy in the space. When you use something, put a flag on it, somewhere it won't interfere with the items use. You only need to mark an item once. At the end of a month revisit the space and separate the flagged items from the unflagged ones. The unflagged items should be moved on out unless there is a specific reason you need to keep it. If you are finding it hard to get rid of all the items, then set a goal to get rid of a quarter or half.

3. Eliminate doubles

It's not uncommon to realize you have two of things that you don't need two of: can openers, waffle makers, maybe a vacuum. This can happen because of couples coming together, maybe you got a new one as a gift or on a whim and you just never managed to get rid of the old one. Now you just have them taking up space. Take some time and find all those doubles, lay them out, side by side, then pick the one that is your favorite and get rid of the other one. Doubles do not serve you they just take up space.

4. Pare down required multiples

Now, there are things that you need more than one of, napkins, towels, dinnerware, and shoes. But how many do you really need? If there are four of you, do you need 40+ plates? Probably not. So, figure out how many you really need and remove the extra and free up space.

5. How long has it been in the garage?

This may not be the garage for everyone, but it usually is. That place where you put those boxes of things that you don't what to think about or deal with. A good way to know if you should get rid of them? Go out right now and date those boxes. They may have already been in there a year but start the clock this very moment. Then go about your life and next time you think about or try to dig into those boxes you will be able to see how long it has been. If a month or more passes between thinking about those boxes much less actually doing anything with them, then you don't need what's in them. Move them out.

6. Make a place for sentimental items.

Maybe that box in the garage is full of sentimental items, if that's so, what good are they doing locked out in the garage where you can't enjoy them? Find a place in your home for these things, where you can see them or have easy access to them. Consider having a special cubby in each family members room for their special items. That way you can enjoy them in a way that doesn't feel like they are just taking up space.

7. New in, old out.

An easy trick to manage how many items are in the house. It works by deciding that when you get something new you must get rid of something old in the same category. So, if you want a new dress you must get rid of an old one. If a child gets a new toy they need to get rid of an old toy. This may be harder for some things, as we love to rationalize that we need both when we absolutely do not.

8. Going paperless

It's common to find stacks of mail, ads, receipts and in general paper documents in your home with no organization. We collect them endlessly. Let's change that. Just about everything from the mortgage to credit cards has a paperless option and some will even give rewards for doing so. There are also several apps that allow you to scan your receipts and toss them, so they don't end up in jacket pockets and the bottom of purses. Free up the space taken up by papers you may never touch again.

9. Small case for paper documents

There are some documents that you must have a physical copy of, such as birth certificates. For these important documents, you need a designated place. A small fireproof file case, with a lock, should be enough to keep those necessary documents together and safe.

10. Make clean-up time fun

As a mom, it can be so hard to get your kids to help with cleaning, but they can be your most valuable helpers if you make it fun. Try picking some music that everyone likes and dance your way through it. You could order pizza or make a deal that if the kids do their part, they can go out to dinner or throw an ice cream party. Rewards and games can motivate them to help.

11. Don't fill up

You put in all that work, the counters are clear, there are free shelves and open space in the cabinets. You may think that this means you can get more stuff. STOP. DON'T. These spaces will fill naturally without any help. In your day to day, you may find something that will fill an empty space, but consider that in a year, it may be something you throw out in order to declutter again.


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