The Easy Secret to a Clutter Free Home

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Decluttering your house when you have kids is so hard! Before you have kids, your house is fairly organized (if you don’t count your husband’s clothes that never quite seem to make it to the hamper ;)).  But, then, slowly, the toys take over, the kitchen counter is covered with papers, and you just got a puncture wound from a Lego on the floor that you didn’t notice.

And don’t even get me started on the laundry!

When your house is overrun with clutter and mess, it is so hard to get motivated to start getting organized!  When you look around at how much there is to do, I mean, where do you even start?!

There is an Easy Way to Declutter Your Home

Well, I am here today to tell you two very important things:

    1. Decluttering and organizing is an ongoing process.  You don’t just “set it and forget it”.  Sorry!
  1. If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to start conquering the clutter, there is a super easy  way to declutter your home.

I can tell you this works because it is exactly how I started to declutter my house a year ago. I was there. We had just had our third baby and were contemplating moving.  I looked around and couldn’t imagine packing (and then unpacking) all of the stuff I saw laying around.

Toys, textbooks from college (we had both graduated about 10 years before!), clothes, books we didn’t plan on rereading, a gazillion blankets, so much stuff.  

What was I going to do with it all?

I decided to just get a box and fill it up as I came across things we could get rid of.

Don’t Do It All At Once

That’s the secret I want to share with you today – decluttering doesn’t have to be some massive, weekend purging, yard sale event.  We lived in a bad location for a yard sale and I didn’t feel like gathering everything up and spending my weekend watching people shop my stuff.  I didn’t think much of it was worth selling on Ebay, and I tried some things on online yard sale sites, but didn’t want to be running around meeting people all the time.

So, I decided that the majority of our stuff that was in good shape, we were going to just donate.

I got a box and filled it up.  I actually filled up 3 boxes that afternoon.

And I took about a trunk load of stuff to Goodwill about 2 or 3 times a week for the next few months.  Yes, we had that much stuff.

And ever since that day, I have kept a running “donation” box in an easy to access area of our house.  Now, as I am cleaning up or just doing things around the house and I come across something that needs to go, I just put it in. When the box is full, I close it up, and take it to Goodwill.  Keeping a “give away” box (as my kids call it), makes it so easy to declutter your home.

The best part? I mean, besides a less cluttered house?  If you take it to a nonprofit charity and they give you a receipt, it is tax deductible! (I am not a tax lawyer, so check the laws before you deduct it)

a donation box is a good way to declutter

Keeping a “give away” box is a good way to keep clutter under control.

Starting is the Hardest Part

Once you get the level of clutter down to a manageable level, it becomes much easier to look at a problem area and say “I’m going to organize that today!”.  I’ll be honest, it took a few months (and lots of boxes) before I actually felt like I was making a difference.  So, be patient with yourself if you take several boxes to charity and still feel like your house is totally full.  It will get better!

How Kids Can Help Declutter Your Home

If you have young children who are “less than thrilled” to get rid of a toy that they ‘“love” (and by love, I mean hadn’t played with in 6 months until you tried to get rid of it), then get them involved in  decluttering your home by telling them to pick some toys that they are done with and they think another boy or girl, who doesn’t have very many toys, would like to have.  You’ll be surprised at the size of your child’s heart.  I know I was when I started decluttering with my girls.

A Declutter Warning

One word of caution I would give you is this – don’t start giving away your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend’s stuff without checking with them.  At first, I was just getting rid of my stuff and the kids’ stuff because my husband just wasn’t ready to part with his stuff (remember those college textbooks I mentioned earlier?  Not mine.).  It took the better part of 6 months of me consistently getting rid of things before my husband jumped on board and is now much more willing to part with items he doesn’t use.

I find that having a donation box constantly available, really make the decluttering process possible.  I don’t have to do some marathon decluttering (#ain’tnobodygottimeforthat).  I can just declutter as I go through my normal routine.  

Related Busy Mom Reading:

You Can Do It

Find a box and put it somewhere you walk by frequently.  Don’t even put anything in it right now if you don’t want to.  But, next time you see something obsolete, you will have a place to put it.  And then, my friend, it’s smooth sailing from there!

Want some help?  Grab my FREE decluttering checklist!  I take you room by room through your house with easy, manageable areas to tackle every week.


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decluttering your house doesn't have to be overwhelming

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7 Responses

  1. Claire says:

    My husband is as fastidious as I am about clutter. It isn’t “clothes that don’t make it into the hamper” for him – it is CLEAN laundry that stays folded IN the hamper on the floor. BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!!

  2. Alex says:

    My donation box is in the back of my car so no one sees it ha! I fill it up and haul it off once every few months. Otherwise my kids will grab stuff from it and insist that it is their favorite.

    • Surya says:

      Ha! That is great. I know exactly what you mean – my kiddos have “rescued” several items at different times. But, I do tell them, that Ok, they can keep that item, but they have to replace it with something else. Works every time!

  3. Ann says:

    lol. I have to declutter when my kids are in school, and the mister is at work, to prevent them from rescuing toys. :/

  4. Surya says:

    Hi Ann, that is the PERFECT time to declutter! Just you, a donation box, and a trash bag…..sounds heavenly!

  5. Crystal says:

    I very often read the advice to tell little kids they’re sharing their toys with kids less fortunate than them, but I can’t say that to my kids because we shop thrift stores, so they know it’s not just poor kids with less stuff buying the toys. Plus, if I try to get my littles to donate they’ll end up bringing me their favorite toys, just because they can’t decide what to let go. So for now, I declutter their unloved toys when they’re not around, and they never even notice. But they enjoy having more space to play.
    I keep a few boxes around for donate at all times, and when they’re full I seal them up so no one will look through. I schedule a Salvation Army pick up about once a month (about 5 boxes), and as soon as they leave my house I schedule the next one, to keep the momentum going!
    Good post!

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