Inside: So you want to declutter, but you have kids. Is it possible to live clutter-free with kids in your home? Let’s talk about it!

A guest post by Cora Gold of Revivalist

Is it possible to live free of clutter with kids? Some parents would say absolutely not, while others are proud of their tidy homes. Either way, messes happen whether you have little ones or teenagers.

Toys overflow from baskets, or you might feel a sharp pain in your foot as you discover a Lego brick in the dark. Laundry piles up like a volcano peak each week and you find yourself constantly picking up an endless amount of stuff.

Some days, when you’re tired, you mostly ignore those piles of clutter. Yet, when something as important as your keys go missing, you may find yourself frustrated, as well as motivated, to get things picked up.

Does this sound familiar? You’re not the only person to struggle with clutter in your home.

Unfortunately, many parents struggle with clutter, and studies show that it can have significant effects on your mental as well as physical health.

However, it is possible to live clutter-free with kids. Here are some tips to help.

clutter-free with kids

8 Tips for Living Clutter-Free With Kids

Use these tips to help your home to become clutter-free even with kids!

1. Lead by Example

When it comes to living clutter-free, it’s best to focus on your own things first. Set the example and let your kids see you declutter your things and then enjoy the benefits of having a decluttered space.

A sure-fire way to make everyone in your home hate decluttering is by getting rid of their things first. Everyone should have a say in what stays and what goes.

It helps the process go much more smoothly when you’ve focused on what’s yours initially.

2. Address Your Biggest Pain Points

If you’re unsure where to start decluttering in your home, consider the things that are no longer working for you.

Think about what areas you’d like to have more joy, excitement, quiet, patience, or fun. Then consider the times you feel most stressed, unappreciated, and annoyed.

Take note of the moments where your feelings come up and discover where you can make room for changes. Set your goals for your home and consider how it will best function for your family.

3. Adopt the Mindset That Less Is More

Of course, you can sell the items you no longer need, toss them out, or donate many of your family’s things. However, there’s more to it with the “less is more” mindset.

What do you want to do to make life simpler? Do you have a dollhouse taking up space long after your child outgrew it? Is it selling that boat to downsize because it’s been sitting in your garage for too long?

Or maybe you’re longing for mornings and evenings to run more smoothly? Do you wish family mealtimes were easier?

family hike

Being clutter-free and adopting a simpler lifestyle is about making room for life. One way to do this is to value memories over buying toys and games.

Of course, it’s all about finding a balance, too. Toys can add value to your little one’s life, but always giving in to the urge to buy new things can impact their creativity and independent playtime.

Instead, you could encourage your kids to play with toys that inspire imaginative play and become part of the memory-making experience.

4. Rotate Through Toys

Speaking of toys, many people will have the urge to buy them because they think their kids get bored with what they have. Yet, before you click “add to cart,” rotating toys is something you could try.

Consider looking at what your kids currently have, gather the ones they don’t play with, and store them away. Next, you can rearrange what’s left. That way, they can actually see what toys they have.

Once the shiny feeling wears off, you can switch the displayed toys with those in storage. You’ll love this idea because it keeps things clutter-free while the kids get to enjoy the toys they forgot they had.

5. Declutter Toys and Clothes Regularly

If you want to live a more simple lifestyle, letting go of stuff cluttering your home is necessary. To control the overflow of toys, it helps when you take a two-way approach: contain and donate.


Start organizing toys by placing small baskets and bins near the living room or stairs. Then you can drop items in those baskets when you see them left around the house. Get your kids involved and have them clean out their baskets when they get full.

Large storage bins might be unmanageable and stressful. You might find small containers to be more appropriate for your storage system – especially for those single collections of toys with tiny accessories.

Consider giving toys a specific home and working with your children, teaching them how to put their things back in their places.

clutter-free with kids


Many parents might find it easier to clear out toys without their child’s input. However, you can make your child part of the process by teaching them the difference between wanting and needing.

This process helps your child to understand it’s okay to let go of things that are no longer being used.

Some children can make it very difficult to maintain a clutter-free environment. They want to keep everything that’s in sight.

However, involving them in a seasonal cleanup will help them get into the practice of learning to let go.

6. Clean Up the Clutter as You Go

When you come home tired, knowing there is dinner, homework, baths, and bedtime still to come, clutter tends to pile up during our busy schedules.

For instance, you might notice all the junk mail and odds-and-ends sitting on the kitchen table or countertop. Then, when it’s overflowing, you decide you’ll manage it later and put it away in the junk drawer.

The solution to this is to take care of it right away. Have a recycle bin near your entry door and trash it as soon as you enter the house.

7. Clear Piles of Stuff Over Time

Trying to declutter everything at once is overwhelming. Focus on one specific area at a time and encourage family members to do the same. Over time, you will have decluttered your entire home!

Afterward, work on creating daily decluttering habits. Doing small things here and there makes a big impact over time and helps prevent clutter from piling back up.

If you want to declutter fast, consider scheduling a Declutter Day with your family. Decide as a team what to let go of and finish that process within that same day.

It doesn’t have to be in every room at once. Pick one room to work through together to declutter all the things no one loves or uses anymore.

clutter-free with kids

8. Simplifying Your Family Life

Living clutter-free with kids isn’t only about the stuff that you have in your home. It’s also how you manage your schedule. Does your family have adequate downtime or do you find yourselves worn out from constantly going from place to place?

When striving to live clutter-free with kids, there’s no single right way to do it. Being flexible and finding balance are important when working to live simply.

Every family situation is different and it’s okay if you don’t have the same version of simple as someone else. Make your choices based on what works for you and your crew and don’t worry about the rest.

What are your tips for living clutter-free with kids? Share them in the comments below!

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine. She loves writing about family and living life to the fullest. Follow Cora on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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