kids clutter

Decluttering for Kids: Increase Fun, Decrease Mess

It’s no secret that kids are not the cleanest little beings on the planet. They don’t know that they need to be, or that decluttering and keeping things neat and tidy can actually be a lot of fun. They need to be taught those things, just like any other type of skill their parents want them to have as they get older.

If parents want their children to grow up with healthy, clutter-free habits, those parents will need to teach by example – and there are some great ways to do that. Here’s what should be concerned when teaching a child some great, tidy habits.

Being Clean Can Be a Lot of Fun

Kids need fun and interaction, and if parents are always nagging them about cleaning up their toys or other spaces, they’re going to feel like they don’t want to do that. But cleaning up things and tidying up spaces can be enjoyable. It’s also so much easier to find things when they’re needed, if those things have been put back in the right place after they were used the last time. When children are shown how they can make a game out of decluttering, they’re much more likely to want to keep doing it. It’s a great way for parents to have a house with less clutter in it, and happy kids at the same time.

Children Learn By Example

One of the ways younger children, and to some extent older ones, learn is by example. The biggest example they have in life is their parents. When they see what their parents are doing and they see that their parents are happy doing those things, they may want to start doing those things, too. As a parent, it’s a good idea to show children that cleaning and tidying up is an enjoyable way to keep the house looking great and things in their proper places. Children who learn to be neat and clean also don’t lose things as easily as other children, because they have a habit of putting things back where they’re supposed to go.

It’s Not Necessary to Start Young With Everything

Asking a toddler to clean the house probably isn’t realistic. They aren’t really able to do that kind of work, and shouldn’t be asked to. But as they get older and move into their teenage years, they can start learning a lot more about the value of decluttering their room and other areas of the house. Some people are simply neater than others, but being tidy is a skill that can be taught to anyone. If parents tend to keep things neat and clean, their children will be more likely to do those things, as well. Not only do they learn by example, but they can start young with small things and move into more complicated things later on.

Teaching Young Children Specific Clean Times Can Help

Younger kids like to play and they like to eat. So teaching them to clean up their play area and clean up after they eat can be great ways to get young children started on the path to decluttering and being tidy. It will decrease the mess the parents have to clean up, and it will increase the fun and pride that the kids have with all the new things they’re learning to do. Taking pride in being a “big” boy or girl because they can clean up after themselves can bring them a lot of joy. They may not get things as clean and neat as their parents would, but as long as they are trying that effort should be acknowledged.

Designated Areas Matter When Decluttering

Children need structure, and that includes specific areas where their toys and other items “live.” By having these designated areas, children can more easily learn how to put things back and where items should go. They can also see if something’s missing, so it can be located and put in its proper “home.” Sometimes the phrasing parents use can make a big difference, too. When children feel as though their items have specific homes, they’re generally more likely to return those things to the right place.

When It’s Time To Do Something Else, Make Sure Kids Clean Up First

Teaching kids good decluttering habits should be something that happens routinely. For example, when kids are moving from one activity to another, have them clean up from the first activity before they do something else. Then things stay neat, and the idea of cleaning things up doesn’t seem so overwhelming because it’s only a small area or a little collection of things each time.

Keeping up with cleaning can be just part of the process of playing and exploring the world, for children of nearly any age.

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