When you have toddlers in your house, you spend more time cleaning the mess rather than tending to other chores. This becomes a real problem if you have multiple toddlers. At the end of the day, you find yourself energy-deprived and the joy of motherhood turns into a bad dream.
To prevent your toddlers from creating clutter, you need to tame and train them as early as possible. Most parents prefer the minimalistic approach with their kids. Let’s see how you can use the same approach as well when it comes to teaching your kids to work in harmony.
Decluttering and Raising Toddlers Using the Minimalist Approach
Invite Your Kids to Join You
When there is an overwhelming amount of clutter in your house, you should invite your kids to help you declutter. Even if there is a toddler in question, you should try to showcase minimalistic values through your actions. Since kids love to copy the actions of their parents and are always in search of something new. They will immediately join the fun.
You can also trick them using rewards. Once they are done helping you, you can buy them ice cream or anything they like, maybe visit the local park just to have some fun. However, make sure that they do not get used to it. Sometimes you have to say no as well. If they act stubborn, it is better to leave them as they are and try again in a few hours.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule goes a long way in mentally preparing and helping declutter the house regularly. If you are a new mother, you should create a weekly or monthly schedule. This will allow and remind you to declutter the house everyday by taking an hour or two from your busy routine. As a result, you will not be worried about cleaning the entire house once the weekends, which can be comparatively more tiring and frustrating. Plus, once you are done decluttering the house, you will have more time to care for your toddler at the end of the day.
Even though you are dealing with toddlers but there should be some established boundaries. For example, you should not allow your toddler to spread all their toys around the house. The kitchen and living room should be kept free. If the toddler continues to break the rules, you should penalize them.
However, do not overdo it. Simply grab the toys and hide them somewhere for a little while. Once they learn the lesson, you can return the toys. Containing clutter in designated areas ensures that you will not have to clean every area of the house each day. Since you will be aware of the areas that are allowed to be cluttered, you will gradually spend less time cleaning them.
Use Bins to Store Toys
Even if you teach your toddler to help you declutter the house, they will hardly put their toys in their right place the next day. If they find storing things difficult, they will simply misplace them and cry the next day while looking for them. To cope with the issue, you should use bins to store toys. This way, they can simply throw in their toys as soon as they are done playing.
Additionally, you can install a draw underneath your toddler’s bed and train them to store the toys inside when it is bedtime. To make things easier, label the bins, preferably using pictures so that your toddler is able to understand and determine where a particular toy is located.
Offer Fewer Toys
Kids love to play with all their toys around. You can limit this by hiding some toys and only offering a few each day. To prevent your toddler from getting bored, you should replace the toys every now and then but keep the rest hidden. You can expect a lot of crying in return but this is the best way to teach them minimalistic values. And since kids play only for a few minutes until they find something new, you always have the golden opportunity to switch and store the toys.
Everything Has a Place
Apart from the toys, you are also dealing with clothes, shoes and school papers, etc. You cannot simply pick them and store them wherever you want. Instead, you need to specify some areas in the house that will only be used for storing specific items.
For instance, your closet can be used to store your toddler’s clothes and shoes, etc. but not toys or school papers. Anything important should be stored in the toddler’s room and locked to keep it safe from their tiny hands. It might sound awkward but that way you will not mix up important school documents and maybe misplace them if you decide to store them somewhere in your room.
Teach Your Toddlers Meal Etiquettes
Perhaps toddlers create the most mess when it is meal time. Looking after the mess each day and shifting the dishware to the kitchen is a hefty task. With that being said, you should teach your toddler the proper meal etiquette. This is a minor aspect of decluttering the house but goes a long way in preserving energy and time. Teach your toddler to pick up any leftovers on the floor or table. Cluttering is one thing but sweeping the floor and picking up food pieces individually requires even more time and effort.
In the end, it all comes down to preventing clutters and teaching your kids to do the same. It is a slow process but eventually, they will learn. Once you implement the tried and tested tips above, the task will become comparatively easier. Meanwhile, you have to act as a role model so that your kids only develop good habits. And once they start picking up after you, you will have more time to yourself.