Inside: Clutter in your home has a massive impact on your mental health and happiness as well as your family’s. Use these 9 decluttering tips for busy moms to restore order and peace to your home!
Have you ever noticed when your house is messy or unorganized you feel anxious, depressed, or mentally fatigued? That’s because clutter is more than a messy house. It takes a toll on your mental health!
When my house is messy, unorganized, and chaotic, it gives me a lot of anxiety! But at the same time, it feels extremely overwhelming to think of all the things you need to do to clean, declutter, and organize along with all your other responsibilities.
Plus having your kids playing underneath your feet, or fighting with each other every 2 seconds, really puts a damper on your attempts at decluttering and organizing!
So you end up doing nothing. Or you tell yourself it’ll get done tomorrow, or that you’ll start this weekend.
But honestly, it probably doesn’t happen.
And when no action is taken, it feels like your house is in chaos. You can’t find things when you need them, your energy is drained just looking at piles of stuff that have accumulated, or you snap off on your kids or husband because you can’t stand the mess anymore.
Your house is the place you spend most of your time so if it’s in disarray, you’ll constantly have a running list in your head of all the things that need to be put away, thrown away, and organized.
It’s exhausting constantly having a running list in your head! You’re already doing 230 things in a day, you don’t need MORE things added to the list!
Think about the last time you had guests over. Your house was probably pretty clean and organized! When it was clean like that, you probably thought you really want it to stay that way.
I know that’s how I feel. I always tell myself I’m going to not let the mail pile up, or random toys, papers, and other odds and ends clutter up the dining room table and the kitchen.
But it never stays clean and organized and here I am, feeling that anxiety again because my house is cluttered!!
When you feel that clutter anxiety, you probably lose your temper more with your kids or maybe you feel depressed because you think it’s a lost cause.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled at my kids because their toys are all over the floor and it drives me NUTS! I end up stepping on them and breaking them or hurting myself. Then, (as I’m silently cursing every hatchimal or matchbox car) I get angry because I think why is it so hard to keep the house clean?!
So I decided, I don’t want to keep pushing it off. I don’t want to keep getting angry about too many toys laying around. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed anymore when I think about what needs to be decluttered and organized.
So I created a list of what needed to be done and a schedule so I can stay on top of what I needed to do every single day.
When you follow a schedule, it kicks overwhelm to the curb and you’re actively doing something each day to get your house in order.
Organizing and Decluttering Tips For Busy Moms
1) Choose one room at a time
When you’re decluttering oftentimes you think of the entire house, which then paralyzes you into taking no action.
So choose one room that you want to focus on and do at least one task to organize every day.
For example, if your room is the bathroom then one day clean out your drawers. Throw out stuff you don’t need and organize what you want to keep. The next day clean out the cabinet underneath your sink. Keep going until your entire bathroom is finished and then move on to another room.
If you can manage doing more than one task at a time go for it. But the key is to do something every day so it’s not overwhelming and you end up not doing anything at all.
2) Give everything a home
Everything in your house should have a home. Papers, toys, books, craft supplies, shower stuff, hair stuff, shoes, etc.
If it doesn’t, ask yourself why you’re keeping it. What do you need it for? Be honest with yourself and if you don’t need it, throw it out!
Or if it’s something you do want, but it doesn’t have a home, make one.
Buy bins, baskets, shower caddies, shoe racks, shelving units, etc., to make sure the things you need in your home have a place they belong.
This eliminates items you need, (or think you need or needed at one point) piling up in places they don’t belong.
3) Have a paper rule
Hands down the one thing that clutters my house the most is paper. Instruction pamphlets for random items, (coffee machines, vacuums, televisions, furniture, etc.) mail, cards, school papers, and more.
It’s like they breed if they sit out for too long!
I had to come up with a paper rule because it was seriously ridiculous the amount of paper that would pile up.
Come up with a rule that works for you.
I know some people have a rule where they touch the paper once and it gets dealt with. For example, the mail comes and instead of leaving it in a pile on the table, immediately throw out any junk mail, either pay the bill and shred it, or put the bills in a designated bill section, and shred any other mail you don’t need.
Get your husband and kids on board too so they don’t leave piles of mail around either.
If there’s paper you need to keep, have a filing cabinet that you can store it in and every 6 months go through the filing cabinet and shred paper you don’t need anymore.
You may want to consider signing up for paperless billing, which will lessen the amount of paper in your house too.
4) Label your bins
You can get fancy and use a label maker to put labels on your bins so you know exactly what everything is. Or you can just write on a piece of paper and put tape over it!
This is extremely helpful if you have a lot of bins and boxes, (like in your basement or attic) so you know exactly what they are without having to rifle through them.
This is also great if you have little kids. You can print pictures of what’s in the bin, (think pictures of crayons, puzzles, games, craft supplies, coloring books, toys, etc.) so they can easily tell where to get things and where to put them back when they’re done.
When you’re labeling your boxes and bins, take that opportunity to throw out or donate any items you don’t need anymore to keep junk from piling up.
When I was going through my kids arts and crafts bin I realized we had no less than 65,000 crayons, most of them broken into small bits! Why did we have these?? So into the garbage the crayon bits went, and there was a lot more room in the bin.
These labels are great for organizing and also for eliminating chaos in bins when everything is thrown together and your kids don’t know where anything is, so they have to stop and ask you, and then you have to stop what you’re doing to go look for it…No one wants that!
So let the labels help you!
5 ) Group things together
This is especially helpful if you have a basement, attic or a storage room. Once you’ve labeled your boxes and bins, put all similar items in the same area so when you need to get to them, you can find what you need fast.
For example, all of my Christmas decorations are in one place in the basement, all of my kids baby stuff is in one section, all my other seasonal decor are in specific sections.
Also group things so stuff you rarely need is in the back and stuff you’ll use more frequently is near the front.
This organizes your belongings and makes it super easy for you to quickly grab what you need!
6) Get rid of stuff
Obviously that’s the point of decluttering and why we’re here right? But this is harder than it seems! You may find yourself holding onto things because you think you’ll need it at a later date or you want to keep something because it has sentimental value.
I definitely understand that. I have a lot of attachment to things. My things have memories attached to them and so it’s hard for me to get rid of them.
But I know for my sanity, I have to throw stuff out or donate it.
For example, if you have baby items and your kids aren’t babies and you’re done having kids, donate the baby stuff or give it to friends or family.
I know it’s hard to get rid of your baby stuff!
You can keep a couple small things if you want momentos, but everything else is just taking up space.
A big baby item in my family that people keep are baby clothes. If you’ve got tons of baby clothes, save your very favorites, (if you want them for memories or you’re saving them for your kids when they have kids) and get rid of everything else.
You don’t need to keep the stained, ripped or worn out clothes, or the 172 onesies…
If you’ve got a lot of textbooks from college consider selling them online.
Do you have old purses and shoes? If they’re in good condition sell them otherwise donate them. It’s not likely you’re gonna wear those 5 inch stiletto heels you wore when you were 21…
7) Make a date to donate
What happens to me is I decide I want to donate items, and then they sit in a bag in my basement because I don’t end up going to the donation place. The bag is out of sight out of mind. All that’s doing is causing unnecessary clutter because they’re items I’ve already designated as ones I won’t be using anymore.
If you know you have a tendency to not follow through with donating, have someone come and watch your kids. Not because you can’t take them but because having someone take time out of their schedule to help you, will force you to follow through with donating. Plus you’ll have extra room in the car for the boxes and bags!
Or if your kids are older, you can have them choose some of their things to donate and give them a specific date to have their items picked out by. On that date, you can go and donate together.
Figure out a way to keep yourself accountable!
8) Go through your kids stuff
This is a good task to have your kids help with. Go through their toys, books, and clothes and ask them what they’d like to keep and what they’d like to donate. They may surprise you!
I thought my kids wouldn’t want to get rid of anything but my 5 year old wanted to donate a lot of her old toys!
On the flip side, if you know your kids’ll want to keep everything, this is best to do when they’re not around. Get rid of anything you haven’t seen them play with in the last 6 months.
If you’re really not sure if they’ll want it, put it in a box and pack the box away for a couple weeks. If they haven’t noticed it’s missing, it can go. (Just make sure to mark your calendar so you don’t forget you have that box waiting to be donated!)
Also consider what toys you’re keeping out. If you have a kids who are 3 years old or above, do you really need baby board books, extremely easy puzzles, rattle toys, or anything else made for babies sitting out?
Again, it’s hard sometimes to pack away your kids baby toys because you’re realizing they’re getting older. Or maybe you’ve forgotten those items are even in their room. Either way, once they’re gone it’ll make a huge difference not only to you, but to your child too because they’ll have less stuff in their room. Too much stuff is overwhelming for kids too.
9) Get rid of your clothes
Honestly, it’s hard for me to get rid of my clothes and part of that is cause I don’t shop for myself like I did before I had kids. But the fact is I don’t need professional business attire anymore. I don’t need clothes that are way too big or too small sitting around “just in case” I’m that size again.
It’s tempting to keep clothing if you’ve changed sizes recently in case you fluctuate back to a previous size. But instead of keeping a ton of old clothes in various sizes, keep one pair of jeans from a size under you and a size above you and do the same thing with shirts or sweaters.
Also be honest with yourself and look at the style of your clothes. Will you really wear a skin tight, cleavage baring, glittery shirt in the next several months? Will you wear your bubble dress or cowl neck sweater again? Probably not.
Having all those extra clothes in your closet that you won’t wear, gives you the illusion you have more than enough clothes when in reality you may not even wear half of them.
If you’re truly not sure if you’re going to wear something, hang everything in your closet facing the back of the closet. Over the next 6 months, if you wear it, flip it to hang towards the front of the closet. Anything that’s still facing the back of the closet after 6 months goes.
Of course you can do this seasonally too if you don’t have 6 months of a season. For example, at the start of warm weather put all of your summer clothes facing the back of the closet. When you wear it you flip the hanger. Once it gets to colder fall weather, any summer clothes still facing the back of the closet has to go.
Stop living with anxiety and overwhelm! Your house should be a place of peace, NOT adding to your daily stress. Decluttering and organizing will not only give you more peace and calm when it comes to your daily living space, your kids will be happier too.
You can get started right away by using this list of decluttering tips for busy moms, and doing just one task every day!