Decluttering and Tidying with kids


The idea of kids tidying their place themselves might look like a dream come true for a lot of parents. But the question is “how important is it for us that the kids learn this particular skill?”

In our childhood, when our mom used to tell us to clean our room, our reaction was to put everything inside the cupboard or under the bed in way that they are not visible to plain sight. But the “how to do it” was never addressed. Did we ever learn what is the right way to arrange and organize our things? Do we find it important to teach our kids the concept of tidying or the right way of organizing their stuff? I have always believed that tidying is a skill which can be developed easily, even by kids.

Why is it important?

  • Kids get overwhelmed easily when they have too many things to process be it toys, books or clothes.

  • It is important that they learn to appreciate things and feel less entitled.

  • If they have fewer things, they learn to get more creative.

  • They learn the concept of sharing.

How to inculcate this habit?

  • Kids learn by observing us- if we start practicing organizing ourselves, we will be surprised to see how quickly the kids pick up the art.

  • Start by teaching them how to do it- sit down with them and explain how to keep away their clothes, or which toys should go in which basket.

  • Involve them in the decluttering process – Lots of times we are tempted to throw away toys without asking our kids. We should instead involve them in the process and encourage them.

  • Respect their decisions- It is ok if they are not willing to part away with some of their toys. Its also okay if they don’t like to play with something that we expect them to play with, and want to discard it.

  • Apply ‘Sunk Cost’ concept- We should not hold back onto something due to our emotional attachment or because we have spent a lot of money on it. Decide based on the use for the item today

  • Make it a routine- set a time, say before dinner, for wrapping up the toys or their their room. Play some music and make it an interesting activity.

Let’s embark on this journey of raising responsible and independent kids. Tidying is something that can bring so much joy in our life, simply because it creates a clutter free environment for us and takes away the stress created by a messy surrounding.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the same.

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