I was going to write about toys today – but then I changed my mind. I change my mind like I change underwear. And that’s daily for those of you who are interested.
I decided to write about how to declutter your home when you have little kids – because it seems to be a common question that I get. “Stacy! How can I do this if I have little kids?! I can’t even go to the bathroom without someone being injured, much less declutter the pantry!”
Hey, I get it. Last night I got a total of 2 hours of sleep, Andy rubbed face wash all over his body with his clothing on, Annie cut up little pieces of paper and confettied (yes, that’s a new term here) the basement and Eli just threw up all over my chest. So, yeah. I get it.
Annie is currently 6.
Andy is 2.
Eli is 9 months old.
And yet, I have been decluttering the house successfully since April 28th, 2015.
Oh wait…did you get that part? Almost 3 months…and I’m not done.
Decluttering your home like we are, IS possible with kids…but it’s just not a fast process. Marie Kondo says in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up that decluttering your home could take 6 months. SIX MONTHS.
I think a lot of people get in a hurry *cough me cough* and try to get it all done at once. It’s not going to happen that way…especially when little people pee in their bbs (boy’s bloomers), refuse to sleep, or spill fingernail polish on their bedspread.
So, I’ve taken my time and just done a little every day. Something you should know about me, though, is that when I start something, I become consumed with it. CONSUMED. So, it’s on my mind all the time – even in my sleep. Even when I’m wiping butts or cleaning up puffies from the floor, I’m thinking about what needs to be decluttered when I have a spare moment.
I take any spare moment I can get. I work in the morning before they wake up (that happens like once every two weeks – early risers here), during the nap times, and at night after they are in bed. Little bits of time add up.
You don’t have to declutter it all in one day. Just do a little bit at a time, but BE CONSISTENT. Dedicate a certain amount of time a day to decluttering.
It helps when your kids are on board and helping you in the process.
Honestly, things have been pretty centered on decluttering here for the last little bit – because it’s a temporary thing. I know when we’re done, we’ll be back on track. I won’t be KonMari-ing all the things my whole life. I’ll get to a place of maintenance and be good to go.
Mostly I’ve let the kids play. That’s it. That’s my huge secret. Kind of a huge let down, I know. Dude. I should have some secret formula. Nope. Nuttin.
I take Eli with me and take his shoebox of toys (yeah, shoebox) and he plays while I work. Annie and Andy play on the back porch or in their new toy room. Sure, sometimes that means that I have GINORMOUS mess to clean up later…but they had fun and learned that the tape inside cassettes should stay there and we don’t write on lampshades.
Meals have been simple because I don’t want to stop working to make food. But for some reason, these people keep expecting me to feed them – sheesh. Lame.
We’re talking sandwiches, salads, wraps and crock pot meals. Oh wait – and hot dogs sometimes…and somehow those sneaky chicken nuggets made their way into my buggy. Crazy how that happened.
This is the season we are in – decluttering mode. So, I make our life work with it. We declutter together – we clean up together (sometimes, okay occasionally) – we potty together.
So, let me encourage you – even if your days are full of poopy diapers (What IS that smell?!), peepee accidents, and “but why mom?” you can still declutter. Just do it gradually…and keep it up. You’ll get there. I promise. And you’ll never go back.
If you need to make sure you keep on task, do what I do. I have my Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book out on display where I see it several times a day. It keeps me motivated. And so does that extra money coming in from the sale of our stuff.
What tips do you have for decluttering with littles under foot?