Our kiddos have a lot of stuff. But if you start to feel like navigating your walk from the bedroom to the coffee maker is like walking through a maze of wooden toys and puzzle pieces, it might be time to reorganize. Decluttering with kids in the house might feel impossible—especially when you put a toy on the shelf only to find it back on the floor within the hour. However, it’s an achievable task with the right mindset.
To help you cleanse your space, we chatted with the team of professional organizers at Horderly. Here are their top hacks and tips (plus a few from the parents at GoodBuy Gear!) on how to declutter with kids.
How to Declutter The House With Kids
What’s that puzzle box doing on the kitchen counter? And was the living room rug always covered in Legos? When our kiddos are around, the entire house might feel like a playroom. Decluttering the house with kids boils down to being diligent and staying on top of cleaning tasks.
Teach Your Kids The Importance of Giving
There are many benefits to donating or selling old toys. Giving to families in need is not only a kind gesture, but it’s also a sustainable practice that will keep gently-used toys out of the garbage can and in circulation longer. Instilling a spirit of giving in your little ones early on in their lives can also help them become more generous as they age.
Horderly suggests implementing a rule in your household where your kids can’t get new toys until they pick some to get rid of. Involve them in the donation and selling process to show them how easy it is to give to families in need (& make some money while you’re at it).
Lead By Example
Our kiddos likely won’t be able to keep their spaces tidy if the rest of the house isn’t the same way. When you lead by example and keep a clean house, your kids are not only likely to listen when you tell them to pick up after themselves, but they may also develop their own cleaning habits. Some studies even suggest that living in a clean house boosts children’s education and earning potential.
Hold yourself accountable by creating your own decluttering to-do list, like going through your own clothes, putting away or donating old books or tackling any piles in your garage. Start with one room, then work your way through the entire house.
Make It Fun
Putting baby and kid items in a box for donating or selling doesn’t seem all that fun. But doing it while having a dance party or relay race? Now we’re talking. Making cleaning a fun activity for the whole family can help get the kiddos excited about decluttering—while still making good progress.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to make decluttering with our little ones exciting:
- Turn on some tunes to dance to
- Make your donation or selling box into a basketball hoop to toss non-breakable toys like stuffed animals in
- Set a timer and have a relay race to see who can clean up their assigned space the quickest
Tips For Decluttering Your Kid’s Room
New toys, books, craft supplies and other baby gear essentials might start piling up in your child’s room before you even realize it—especially after a holiday or birthday. And since a favorite toy might become old news within the blink of an eye, decluttering toys is all about learning what they love and what they don’t use anymore.
Do Monthly Deep Cleans
Scheduling a monthly clean-up helps keep track of your kiddo's belongings while also getting rid of things they’ve outgrown or don’t use.
Horderly suggests scheduling these deep cleans to organize items into the following categories:
- What you want to keep for a future child
- What you want to sell or donate
- What you want to keep for sentimental value
- What you want to keep using at the current moment
They also suggest following a one-in, one-out rule where items entering the bedroom need to be exchanged with something leaving it. This is also a good time to check for broken toys that have been stuffed away.
Monitor Your Drawers
According to Horderly: “Containment is key.” In general, organizing your kid’s stuff in bins by type (books, games, plushies, etc.) can be a helpful organization tool. But it can also help gauge when to start a decluttering process. If a drawer starts to overflow or becomes hard to open, that’s a sign that it’s time to go through and decide what can be donated or sold.
Optimize Wall Space
Toys and other baby items littering the floor contributes to an overall cluttered feeling inside a room. By hanging wall shelves, you can help maximize the number of books, games, etc., that your kiddo can hang on to while also giving the room a more organized look.
Of course, don’t let wall shelves become an excuse to hang onto more baby gear than you need—stick to one or two for books, games or toys that are must-keeps and won’t get rotated out.
Should You Involve Kids in the Process?
It’s a good idea to get young children involved in the decluttering process. No one knows which toys are in or out better than your kiddos themselves.
A few benefits of getting your little one involved in the cleaning process include:
- Teaches them how to clean (and the importance of it)
- Teaches them to be generous and give away items you no longer need or use
- Helps you pick which toys to sell based on your their preferences
- Helps kids learn the value of their stuff
How to Keep a Clutter-Free Home With Kids
Cleaning shouldn’t be a temporary fix. By instilling healthy organizational habits in your family, you can take the daunting task of organizing a cluttered home and make it more manageable with smaller check-ins.
Stick to 20 Toys Only
To keep your home as clutter-free as possible, Horderly suggests keeping only 20 kids' toys at a time. If you need or want to keep more than 20, rotate some in or out according to what your little one is currently interested in. But in general, 20 is a good number of toys to have on hand so they have plenty of options but won’t get overwhelmed when deciding which toys to play with.
Create an Organization System
Following an organization system (like one-in, one-out) is always a good idea, but especially when you have kiddos running around the house. Knowing where things are when you need them and where to put them when you’re done can help keep your home as clutter-free as possible.
And while it may seem like teaching an organization system to our tiny humans might be impossible, being patient and helping them learn can help with the long-term cleanliness of your home.
Rotate Toys In and Out
Kids lose interest in some toys quickly, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't like that toy at all anymore. Similar to rotating out your wardrobe by season, swap out a few toys every few months with others that are packed away in storage. This can help reduce the number of toys out in your home while keeping your little one interested in toys they already own.
Home organization doesn’t happen overnight. But just like any new mindset, working to change your (and your kids’) habits over time can help make your home more organized and comfortable without too much stress.
And when monthly clean-out time does come around, there are many options for where to recycle, donate or sell gently-used kids' items. At Goodbuy Gear, for example, you can sell baby and kid items you no longer use, helping you declutter your home and earn some money while you’re at it.
Schedule a white-glove pickup with us today so you can declutter your house without even having to leave it.