This week, the BlogHer Life Well Lived panel answered the following questions:
- What are your best tips for keeping the clutter at bay with kids in the house?
- How do you help your kids develop good organizing skills?
I’ll admit, both of these questions are problematic for me. We live in a 700-square-foot apartment of only 4 rooms. Yup, 2 adults, 2 children, and a dog are all shoe-horned into a space that originally was only meant to house newlyweds (that would be my husband and me when we moved in 10.5 years ago). Clutter is somewhat impossible to avoid under the circumstances, and the situation certainly is exacerbated by the addition of the children. Nothing ever stays where I put it–it’s a constant battle.
The most success we’ve had comes from encouraging the kids to participate in the decluttering itself. I can do it all–and do, when I get fed up, tossing whatever is within reach into garbage bags to get it out of the house NOW–but the kids learn nothing that way. If we give them an incentive, some sort of reward for taking part in picking up and organizing our home, they have more invested in the project and are more likely to contribute. For example, my daughter is on a kick right now that she wants to pack our lunches. I know, she’s crazy. In order to pack our lunches last night, though, I told her she needed to clear the table of all their stuff that had accumulated on it. She could not wait to get home and get to work, immediately cleaning up so she could begin her coveted lunch preparation. Yeah, she’s a little weird, but it worked. With my son, TV time is the dangling carrot that works best, though there are occasionally other activities he covets at the time that will get his butt into gear and get the house sparkling–okay, not sparkling… less impeded?–again.
What works for you? How do you keep your home less cluttered, despite the spawn in your lives? Share it with the BlogHer Life Well Lived panel! (And I’d love to hear about it, too–I could use your advice!)
Have you had a moment when you thought, “Darn, things are just going so well–my life is good!” lately? Don’t forget to enter the Life Well Lived Moments sweepstakes! The deadline is TONIGHT, so get on it NOW!!! They’re giving away an iTouch with a $50 iTunes gift card to go with it this round, which will help make those moments to yourself all the sweeter.