Howdy friends! I have a guest sharing today! Please welcome Jenny (great name!) Silverstone of Mom Loves best! I have been all over the map when is has come to managing messes. For me, a messy house did not equal a happy family… it equalled a mom, stressed out from pretending the mess didn’t bother her. I think there is a point somewhere in the middle… embracing the chaos and mess, but managing it so you can find socks and the remote control. Jenny’s tips are great ones for finding that middle ground… and maintaining it.
5 Ways to Let Go of the Clutter and Reclaim Your House from the Mess
Before your baby came along, you ran a tight ship. Your house was spotless, and you knew exactly where everything was at all times.
You vowed to your mom friends, as they sat there giving you pitying glances, that your level of organization and cleanliness would continue even after you became a mom. But women often don’t realize the mess one little kid can make until they become moms.
When your baby was little, you had no trouble keeping up with your vow. But as she learned to crawl and then walk, it all started to spiral out of control. You found messes everywhere, in places you least expected.
Now you’re willing to admit you have a problem on your hands. Before you sign your house up to be featured on an episode of the tv show Hoarders, you should try these tips that have been designed to whip your house, and sense of control, back into shape.
One In, One Out
The one in-one out rule can be used in two different ways. You can teach your child, even if she’s still very young, that for every toy she wants to get out of her closet or off of her shelves to play with, she has to pick one up. Ideally, this will mean you won’t have to treat your floor like you have landmines scattered everywhere — as you tiptoe gingerly from room to room trying not to twist your ankle on toys.
Another way to use this rule is to make your child give up one of her existing toys every time a new one is given to her. If she gets 10 new toys given to her at a birthday party, that means she has to go through her closet and toy bin and weed out 10 of her old toys.
The toys can be given to a friend who might treasure them more than she does, or they can be taken to a resale shop. Either way, this move helps cut down on the overall clutter that can drive moms insane. After all, it’s hard to keep a room clean if there’s too much stuff and not enough storage space.
Keep Your Credit Card in Your Purse
The key to reducing clutter is simple — you need to bring less stuff into your house. If you buy less, there will be less stuff for you to take care of or put away.
This is a pretty basic rule, but one that people seem to forget. Every mom has been guilty of it at some point. We buy a cute outfit, even though our child has a dresser full of clothes. Or we see an extra toy or book that we know she will love, and we buy it even though we don’t need it. Buying too much will, over time, lead to a messy house all on its own.
Use Labeled Bins
Bins are easy ways to keep toys off your floors, but labeling those bins will save you a bunch of time. Your child won’t have to dump out every container on the floor until she finds the one she is after.
If she’s too young to read, you can still label the container. If she has a bin full of Shopkins, for instance, cut out a picture of a Shopkins from the packaging it comes in. Tape that onto the bin you’re storing them in. Then when she is looking for her Shopkins bin, she’ll be able to easily see which container she’s after.
Don’t Let the Mess Snowball
While it’s tempting to give yourself a break, you need to stay on top of things if you have any prayer of keeping your house in halfway decent shape.
If your house looks like a disaster zone right now, you may need to strap on a hard hat and take a full day to whip it into shape. Once it’s clean, commit yourself to spending 20 minutes each day to hit the worst of the mess.
You should spend that time 100 percent focused on cleaning and decluttering — don’t get sidetracked by your phone or anything else. Even by just taking a few minutes every day, your house will look so much better.
Make It a Party
If your child is a toddler or older, make sure she is helping you with your mission to keep the house clean. Make your cleaning binges fun so she’ll look forward to them.
Put on some music and make a game out of it to see how much progress you can make in a particular room before a song is over.
Never Live in Filth Again
If you follow these tips, you’ll be a lot happier because you’ll have a cleaner, more organized home.
Sometimes life will intervene and you’ll have setbacks when things snowball out of control again. But you’ll have the tools and knowledge to get them back in order. You’ll be in control, not the clutter.
Jenny Silverstone is just another mom trying to stop her house look like an episode of Hoarders. When she’s not trying to trick her kids into cleaning up after themselves, she enjoys blogging about her struggles with breastfeeding, breast pumping tips & more on at Mom Loves Best and on Pinterest.