These four tips will help you carve out time to knock out some of the organizing projects on your to-do list even if you have young kids at home.
As a busy mom, we have a hundred things going on and thousands of things we want to do, right? And all those TV shows (and my blog!) make you want to reorganize your whole house and make a dreamy clutter-free oasis of pretty containers and perfect labels. You know how to do it, but you just don’t know when you’ll actually make it around to turning that goal into reality. Today I want to share an email I got from a mom just like you and me because I have a feeling you’ll be nodding your head throughout the whole thing. See if this sounds like you…
“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?”
Did you just stand up and shout out “YES!” as you read her struggle? Oh girl, I remember those days. I’m guessing your kiddos are younger, because mine is thirteen now and he can spend his whole day holed up in his room playing video games with his friends while yelling out ridiculous words that I’m almost positive aren’t even real. (Anybody know what a “pog champ” is?) 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.
1. 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. It’s like building a fort, except you’re subliminally building the fort for you.
2. 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.”
PS: Here’s a great hack for organizing and purging board games!
3. 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.
Older kids are also great at alphabetizing, and for some reason they seem to love it. My son had so much fun alphabetizing my spice drawer when he was ten, and he still routinely checks it to make sure it’s still in order. If it’s not, he fixes it immediately. Try putting your older children in charge of managing something like that and they will feel extra special that you trusted them with such an adult project.
4. Enlist Help
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 kiddo hanging out at your feet constantly asking you to watch what her Barbie can do 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.
Need An Organization Reset?
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, or even worse, going backwards, it’s time for an organization reset. You can’t have an organized and tidy home until you do some major decluttering. That can be stressful and overwhelming for a busy mama like you, but I’ve got you covered.
Just download my 28 Day Decluttering Challenge. It’s totally free and gives you a daily prompt for a small area you can declutter in 30 minutes or less. At the end of the challenge, you won’t believe the amount of progress you made while your kids watch just one episode of Teen Titans Go a day. There are even alternatives if one of the prompts doesn’t apply to your home or needs. Ready to get Organized-ish? Drop your info below and I’ll send it straight to you so you can start today!