Taking on the home improvement project of decluttering your home should be a family affair. Use the suggestions below for helping your children learn decluttering habits that will last a lifetime.
Emphasize the positive after your family does cleanup rather than talking about how they could do better the next time. Older ideas about inspecting your child's work should be exchanged for waiting for your child to invite you to see what they've accomplished.
Set a good example of decluttering by having a daily routine regarding your own clutter areas whether it's mail or laundry or recycling. Once you incorporate declutter habits into your routine, make certain that you engage in these activities at least some of the time when your children are around so that they can observe the process of decluttering and not merely experience the results.
Giving away their toys or even older clothing can be stressful for some children. You can prevent stress for your child by instituting a giveaway policy of one in, one out, where they plan on getting rid of one older item of the same variety before purchasing a new item as a means of giving your child control over the giveaway process.
Use technology as alternatives for bulky collections of schoolwork. Instead of saving every piece of paper your child comes home with at school, allow your child to create an online record of his or her accomplishments with you by scanning papers or sheets they'd like to preserve rather than accumulating bulky piles of papers.
Teach your child that decluttering is not cleaning by focusing on how easily you can vacuum or dust a space that is decluttered which will leave you time for other things.
Don't criticize your child if he or she expresses the desire to get rid of collections of items for which you've spent a lot of money. As children mature, their interest in collections of specific toys or types of books wanes, and if the child expresses a desire to get rid of them, go along with their desire. Simply keeping stuff around that they don't use is the hallmark of creating clutter.
Don't use your child's space for storage of your belongings in order to maximize your child's feelings of control over his or her environment. For instance, if your child's closet has room to store extra bedding, don't put any bedding in his or her room that can't be used on his or her bed.
If your child believes a bag of chips or a ketchup bottle or a tube of toothpaste is done because of the quality or ease of access in using every last drop, don't lecture the child on wastefulness. If you're committed to using every last drop of anything make certain that you find containers that encourage the ability to use products until their last drop.
Teaching your children to contribute to your goal to maintain a decluttered home can be a valuable home improvement project for your lifestyle and your child's. Use the suggestions above for helping your children to live clutter-free lives.