Welcome to January. There are pine needles in your couch cushions, a half-finished puzzle on the dining room table, and new toys under your feet while you cook dinner. You’re probably also still finding shreds of wrapping paper and bits of packaging everywhere.
For busy parents looking to cut down on the post-holiday clutter, here are a few easy decluttering strategies to utilize this year. Taking small, consistent actions throughout the year can make a big dent in the chaos. Maybe you’ll even manage to stop stepping on legos! (If you do, please tell us how you did it. Our feet need a break.)
Backwards Hanger Clothing Trick
Cleaning out the family closets seems like a never-ending task. Even for the grownups, a cluttered closet can be hard to avoid. Here’s a way to easily clean out all the closets (yours too, Mom) throughout the year just by using a simple, daily trick.
First, get rid of the clothing that you know you won’t wear again. That includes clothes your kids have outgrown or worn out. If you aren’t sure about things, use the backward hanger trick to decide later. Flip all the hangers in the family closets backward at the beginning of the year. As they get pulled out and worn, turn the hanger the right way when putting them away. Come June, if you haven’t flipped the hanger, that means it wasn’t worn for the whole season. It’s time to make like Elsa and let it go.
The One-In-One-Out Rule
This rule is about as easy as it sounds. For every new gift or toy that enters your house, try to rotate out an old toy. Look for toys your kids have outgrown or broken and set them aside to become part of the “out” pile. Holidays and birthdays are a great time to box up old toys and donate them.
Most kids are experts at suddenly remembering how much they love something when it’s time to get rid of it, even if they haven’t touched it in months. If you’re not sure about how special something is, try putting it away for a little while. If no one mentions it after a few weeks, it’s probably safe to donate it (we hope).
Organize the Small Stuff (For Under $6 on Amazon)
It seems like the little things are sometimes the most frustrating when it comes to keeping things organized. Junk drawer items, tiny toy parts, hair clips, game pieces… they tend to wind up everywhere no matter what you do.
Getting all the small stuff organized can make a big difference in how much cleaning up you have to do. Grab some small, clear baggies like these ones on Amazon to keep things contained and accessible. You could even enlist your family’s help to gather up all the little bits and pieces from all over the house by making it a game! Whoever can gather up the most tiny items from places they shouldn’t be is the winner.
With just a little intention and a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to cut down on the clutter in 2024 and spend more time doing things you enjoy. (And hopefully less time tripping over toys.)
- Tags: parenthood