3 Ways To Declutter As A Parent
(The following is a partnered post. As someone with a pretty cluttered house, there are some good tips here. I figured I’d run this post as it was submitted to me. Enjoy.)
As a parent, it’s highly likely that at some point in your parenting journey, you will become overwhelmed by stuff! We all know what type of “stuff” this stuff is, right? It’s those piles of things you never get around to sorting out, that toy box that’s overflowing and needs sorting out, or the copious amounts of artwork that make their way into your home that you don’t have the heart to throw out.
If you feel like you are drowning under the avalanche of items being a parent brings with it, the tips can help you can sort through the clutter and breathe a sigh of relief, that is, until your child realizes they can sneak back in and fill up the empty spot on the side!
Storage units are flexible and handy for parents; they’re like having a spare room that isn’t in your home. From storing seasonal items like winter or summer clothes, sporting equipment, and old toys, you know you need to part with but can’t, the same with those boxes of baby clothing and mementos you are holding onto. Hiring a self storage unit can be the answer to your cluttered dreams and give you a way to keep everything without having it all in the house simultaneously!
Does your child like to surprise you with art? Are you currently figuring out how much in therapy throwing away their latest creation will cost you in the future? Don’t. You can’t realistically keep all of your child’s artistic endeavors (nor should you eat that third macaroni necklace they made you because you need it for dinner(. Simply snap a pic and upload it into an album either on your device or stored in the cloud, and then when they ask, you can show them you still have it while removing the guilt of redistributing some of the artwork to more appropriate places. You can do this with many other items too to save you from having to keep physical items; just get creative!
Not so much a physical hack, more of a mindset, but in any case, a hack in itself. Perfect homes and perfect homes with children living in them are just for social media, especially if, for example, you’ve just visited a labrador breeder and brought a new member of the family back with you. No one can sustain that level of perfection 24/7 without making some compromises somewhere. Take a step back, assess what is important to you, and eliminate everything else (including the weight of other people’s expectations). Does your child need 5 toy boxes full of items she doesn’t play with simply because the parenting influencers deemed them the must haves? Get rid of them. Do you really need Pinterest-worthy toy rooms or a kitchen a chef would be proud of? Probably not, and that pile of paperwork on the end of the counter or Barbie helping to cook by the stove won’t likely matter in the grand scheme of things. Lowering your expectations of what you should be doing and what your home should be like can help you relax and not stress so much about the mess.
Family life comes with lots of fun, love, and laughter. It also comes with a lot of stuff and expectations too. By getting creative and thinking outside of the box (or the home, as in the first point), you can help yourself to make sense of your home and get some organization going on without putting too much pressure on yourself.