Decluttering with Kids in the House

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There are two things in this world that almost anyone can say are stressful: raising children and keeping the house tidy. More often than not, a messy house and children go hand in hand. Now, let’s add one more piece to this puzzle that already has you pulling your hair out: you want to sell your house. Fret not, doing all of the above at the same time isn’t impossible. However, it will take a lot of work, patience, and strategizing. Today, we’re going to conquer the impossible and show you decluttering strategies to use with kids in the house so that you can get through your home’s sale with ease.

Keep the kids busy, but not too busy

We’re being honest when we say that kids are messy. If you have time while the kids are at school or daycare to get down to business, use that alone time to your advantage. Most Americans, however, are probably working while the kids are away also. Try to schedule activities for them on the weekends or schedule a playdate for them after school—at someone else’s house. Even in an hour or two, you can accomplish a lot of work.

While we do recommend using the time when your kids are away to declutter, we advise that you don’t go overboard. Constantly scheduling activities for your kids does require you to transport them, clean them up, and provide for them, which can take a lot of time and energy. Don’t burn yourself out just by trying to keep the kids busy.

Get rid of the unnecessary

If you thought you had too much stuff before you had kids, then you probably have way too much stuff now. Moving is the perfect time to purge your collection of items that you just don’t need anymore. Sell, donate, or discard any item that doesn’t serve you or your family. We’ll acknowledge that this isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds since we tend to hold emotional bonds to most of our belongings. However, just because it feels sentimental doesn’t mean that you have to keep it.

This notion is especially true if you’re downsizing with kids. A smaller house means less space to store clutter, so why not take this chance to get rid of it?

Additional tips

Like we mentioned before, decluttering with kids isn’t impossible, but it does require some work. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Make it fun: give your kids incentives for “letting go” of some of their toys. Show them that donating their belongings can make another child’s day!
  • Be honest: let your kids know that they’ll be moving and that there will be quite a few changes in the works.
  • Relax: you won’t be able to control every situation and sometimes your kids will be around during showings. It’s okay! Just do your best to keep the kids quiet and let the buyers know the situation. Usually, people will be understanding.
  • Don’t let the thought of decluttering a house you plan to sell when your kids are running around scare you. Just stay patient, work with everyone involved, and have fun with it! Happy moving!

    Rob Gorski

    Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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