“Hi Lela, I want to get organized, I’ve downloaded all of your guides, I’ve bought your organizing kits, and I have so many plans and ideas, but my problem just won’t seem to go away…my kids are always around and I can’t get anything done! Do you have any tips on pulling off an organizing project when there are Littles in the house?”
-Kerry from Cleveland
How To Organize Your Home When Kids Are Around
Oh girl, I remember those days. I’m guessing your kiddos are younger, because mine is eleven now and he can spend his whole day holed up in his room playing Fortnite with his friends while yelling words like “Noob” and “Legendary.” So for the simplicity of my answer, I’m going to gear it towards children under the age of 9. Here’s four of my best tips that work every time. 🙂
Set Up A Craft For Them
Stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby have craft kits that kids can put together themselves with little help from parents. I highly suggest grabbing some of these kits (a lot of them involve foam and some don’t even require glue, so they won’t be making a huge mess) and setting up a little craft station in the corner of the room you’re working in.
You can even up the “privacy” factor by hanging up a sheet as a barrier so they can make the project behind the sheet to surprise you with it when they’re done. But it works two ways, because they feel a bit more isolated behind it so they won’t constantly interrupt you while you’re sorting the spices in the kitchen.
Organize A Tournament Of Games
Grab a dry-erase board, a marker, and a few of their favorite board games. Draw up a bracket system (March Madness style) on the board and let them track the winners of each game until a Champion Of Games is crowned. It’ll give you at least two hours of working time while they play through a round each of Battleship, Life, and Crazy Eights.
Also, Lego building competitions work great, too! Set a timer for one hour and tell them that’s all the time they have to build something epic. When the timer goes off, their hands have to go in the air and they’ll present what they have. Need extra time? After they do their presentations, set the timer for 30 more minutes so they can uplevel their creations during “Round Two.”
Get Them Involved
Believe it or not, kids actually like organizing. They’re great at sorting by size and color, and they can really help take some of the load off your plate. Next time you’re organizing your pantry, bring your kids in there with you and have them check expiration dates and sort all the containers. Then you can all sit down and have a snack of the most delicious thing you found while you were in there.
Sometimes there’s just no getting around it. When you’re planning a big project like organizing and decluttering your closet, you need the headspace to think clearly. Having a Little hanging out at your feet constantly asking you to watch what her Barbie does is going to kill any bit of flow you may have gotten into.
If you’re doing something big that requires a lot of work or deep thought while decluttering and downsizing, schedule a fun date out for your little sweetie and her favorite family member like your super fun sister. She can take her out to the park while you knock out an uninterrupted Power Hour.
Have A Question Of Your Own?
Need decorating advice? Stumped on storage solutions? No idea how to organize that awkward cabinet in the corner of your kitchen? Stop waiting for the golden answer to appear at your doorstep. You can send your questions here and if chosen, you’ll be featured in an upcoming Ask Lela segment. Free advice straight from a pro. What more could you want? 🙂