Starting everyday overwhelmed by “stuff” sets you on a path of stress and sometimes even regret, before you even make it out of the bedroom. And if you bedroom doesn’t offer comfort, it is likely the rest of the house wont offer any refuge either.
This brief post might help you get started and set you on a path to comfort and a little less stress. Every parent needs that, right?
What’s in your bedroom?
Is the purpose of your bedroom sleeping or storage? If you are unsure, this might be a good place to start. Almost everyone has a closet, and the door should shut on the thing. If it doesn’t, that is your first opportunity. Outside of sleeping, most people keep clothes in their sleeping space. I don’t know how that started, maybe privacy, but that is how most of us have it set up.
You and your children may have many more clothes than you need. I like to put away, in the attic or storage, the off seasons clothes to keep clutter down. This offers you more space, and a simpler, more compact closet that is available for items you will use.
More importantly, you have to reduce the amount of stuff you have. If you own something, and you haven’t worn all season, get rid of it. It is just clutter if you aren’t using it.
The kids out grow things pretty fast, but this can be said for them too. Sometimes you hang on to “cute” stuff or things you like, but it if isn’t functional it really doesn’t add value to your, or their, lives.
This is usually an area where you have way more stuff than you need. That pan you keep for the one time a year you make a cake. Get rid of it. Borrow one for that one time. You don’t need to own something you use that little. The kitchen is a space where you actually do keep things you use, and should never be storage. If something is being stored there, it needs to go.
The extra plates, and silverware, and cups. You don’t need them. If you entertain a few times a year for parties and whatnot, grab the disposable stuff. You can do this and still keep relatively green by buying recycled items, and then recycling them again. These are super cheap, and can reduce the stress you feel by having too much stuff in the kitchen.
Clutter in the kids rooms, or family spaces, is more often than not, toys. After you have already hit the clothes piles, this is the one area the kids need to help with. It is a good lesson in teaching them what is useful as well. I find my kids want to hang on to things unnecessarily, and it is a good opportunity to get their buy in here. They will fight it at first, humans are naturally pack rats since we developed stationary lifestyles centuries ago, and they learn it from watching us.
If they are not playing with a toy, give it away, or regift it to another. We do not allow a new toy in the house without them choosing one that has to go. We have done this so long anytime they get anything they already know what they want to give up. We use it for clothes too, and they really took to the idea.
Now that some of the toys are out of the family spaces, some of the other items can be assessed. Do you have huge space taking furniture? It might be worth your while to reduce the size of your pieces. Having the open spaces that can offer, can be a great way to visually reduce the stress you feel walking into a space.
Book shelves are another big space taker. Most of the time they house goofy things anyway. Nobody is a bigger proponent of books than I am, but if you haven’t read something in years, donate it to the library. They can get great use out of it by allowing it to help with stock, and guess what? You can rent it anytime without it taking up space! Pretty cool, eh!?
If you want something on the wall where a book shelf used to be, consider a classic reprint, or a mirror. But sometimes the best thing to replace an item, when you want to remove clutter your family home, is nothing at all.
Where to start?
Getting started is the hardest part of any task. But this one is very valuable and worth your effort. Nothing can help you be a better parent than a relaxed less stressful home. It is where you perform most of your parenting, and it is good for the children. When you remove clutter from your family home, it can also help your children feel less anxiety and stress. That is super important for their well being.
If you feel fine about your home, but you have children with hyper activity, consider these things may help with that too. We all react to visuals in different ways and it may go along way in helping them chill out and learn more effectively. And as parents it is our job to make sure they have opportunities to grow.
Lets not let clutter hold us back from giving them, or ourselves, that option.