Oh boy, spring is right around the corner and the kids will soon be on spring break. For the parents out there, that could mean spending more time cleaning after your kiddos… If only parents are owed a vacation too! A bit impossible but there’s no harm in dreaming right?
Well… why not try to make those dreams come true!
Spring and summer are the best seasons to clean, organize, and establish better habits and routines for yourself and your family. Help yourself by freeing up your space so you can finally experience the little vacation that you deserve.
I’m Alyssa and I’ll be writing todays post for the ever so lovely Jennifer of teachworkoutlove! I will be serving the hot but good tea on organizing your home with kids AND making it pretty! Who doesn’t love an aesthetically pleasing clean home?
So, How Do We Organize And Keep Your Home Clutter-Free?
Part of having a well designed and organized home is having a place for everything and everything in it’s place. Got bags or coats hanging off chairs or on the floor, papers on kitchen counters, toys and pieces of Cheerios for you to step on? The list of possibilities could go on lets be honest. Where do the bags and coats go? Do your kids have a place to put their bottles or items in when done? Where did all these Cheerios come from!
Before providing any advice lets make sure to have realistic expectations. So nope, no one really lives in a Kids Playroom catalog from Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn (oh how life can be quite unfortunate) but we can definitely follow these habits to make your dreams of having your own spring break come closer to fruition.
Getting Started With Organization
Depending on the scope of the job, you may need to empty out the space you’re working with and start from scratch. I’ve talked about this step in my HomeBoss: Be The Boss Of Your Room post and once everything is out you can actually see what you’re dealing with which makes organizing and redesigning so much easier to tackle. Here’s such a true statement from a book called “Clutterfree with Kids” by Joshua Baker-
“Life would be better lived if there was less stuff to manage and organize and clean. Not only were my possessions not bringing me joy. They were actually distracting me from the very things that did.”
So, here are the main tips I have:
- Don’t just de-clutter, de-own. Girl, it may be time to reassess your home. I say this in a caring way I promise. Check out the HomeBoss: Be The Boss Of Your Room post to do just that because one of the most important things when keeping a home organized with kids, small or big, is owning LESS. You’ll have more time to do things that you want to do and less time cleaning in the weekends sorting through all your stuff. Sounds like a good deal right?
“There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.” -Joshua Becker
“Kids learn to be more creative. Too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination” -Joshua Becker
- Have a place for everything. And everything in it’s place. I know I know, you’ve heard it before. Seriously though, it’s a must to create a designated spot for things that can easily pile up like clothes, backpacks, papers of mail, used dishware, art supplies, electronics, anything and everything. One idea can be getting a bookcase from Walmart or Ikea and turn it into a cute sitting area in addition to storing matching storage containers inside the cubicles! Here’s an awesome example from littlebitsofhome
Side note: You can teach them that they can take bins out one at a time! To take one out they must put one back.
- Use that wall space! When people ask me advice on storage with limited space my answer will always be wall space. Listen here, shelves are your best friend! Take some load off your tired floors and take advantage of that unused wall, it’s a waste of space if left unused! Not many think of using walls for storage and frankly I have no idea why, they’re my best friend and they should be yours too. Here are some creative ideas on utilizing wall space for storage organization:
Umm… how cool is this DIY from iheartorganizing of a crate cut in half to be wall storage?
Or these spray painted spice racks by thesweetestdigs
How about all the clothes though? Try this laundry basket on hooks by the yellowbrickhome! Store clothes, toys, bears, electronics, laundry, anything you want. They make good basketball games during clean up time!
There’s NUMEROUS ideas on how you can utilize your wall space to organize all the things you need to store and keep a cluster-free home! It’s insane and amazing. Okay, last one… I thought this was absolutely ingenious by theinspiredhome
Here’s another one by busycreatingmemories!
Side note: If you’re using a wall area from the ground up, put the most used toys/items on the lower cabinets/shelves, likewise, put the breakables and less used items at the top. By keeping the most used items on the bottom it gives your little one easy access to take out and place back in.
- Containers and labels save lives and confusion. Get any type of container, basket, or whatever storage of your choice and label them! This’ll help set the kiddos up in the long run of growing up under your will-be-organized household and this practice will be implemented as an organization habit/routine when they’re on their own. Erase the future excuse of “I didn’t know where to put it sorry mom gooodddd.” Labelling is a great way to make it easier for kids to clean up. If you have lil ones that can’t read yet, draw picture illustration of the labels with them! Getting them to enjoy and be involved always makes them comply a lot better.
- Make a clean up routine as games! As previously stated, getting them to enjoy an activity will make them comply to a chore so much more! Make sure you create a FUN way to do chores, they’re very creative, curious, and energetic lil people after all. My favorite idea is shooting things in their designated baskets like a basketball game and earn points! Encourage their creativity and playfulness, moreover, let them know self-care can be something to enjoy and should be done. Check out amazing chore chart ideas from woohome! It’s worth a peek..
- Curtain that clutter! This is kind of a last resort. If you can’t or don’t want to take the time to organize all the items in bins, label, and set up a cleaning routine then curtains is your go-to gal. Or you may have people coming over and didn’t have time to help put things away? (emphasis on help because you shouldn’t be the ONLY one to do all the cleaning! This is a family after all, not a one (wo)man job) So when all else fails, shove them in a designated spot, close those curtains, never look back, and pretend like they don’t exist suddenly. Your guests don’t need to know and neither do you for the night ;)
- Some last advice… Be okay with the idea of “clean enough.” Put your kid on a cleaning duty but it isn’t perfect? Well, at least it’s cleaner than it would be if hadn’t done! Any cleaning is better than nothing and you don’t need to feel as overwhelmed when tidying the rest up- embrace on not always having everything perfectly cleaned. Relax and give yourself a break when things don’t get done either. Sometimes it’s okay to do just the basics and let other things go, it’s okay! And from time to time do make sure to reassess of any “clutter hotspots.” Put one thing down and 5 other things will follow… clutter likes collecting itself, it’s like a magnet. So clean up after yourself whilst teaching your kiddos to do the same. Making this a habit will get easier and you can finally have your me time reading a book or whatever it is you enjoy doing without having things hang over head. But remember, have realistic expectations, assess, organize, embrace that clean enough is enough and that sometimes it’s okay to let go and do bare minimum. Enjoy your home and the time spent with your family in it!
Alyssa majors in interior design and enjoys sharing interior and decor tips learned in the design world. Her brand love2designs is a mix of business with pleasure; she offers online design services and a home and jewelry shop along with her interior & lifestyle blogging platform.