There was a time when I perpetually set myself up for decision fatigue and avoidable frustration. Trapped in the endless cycle of organizing. I would think to myself, “If I could just have a week to get it our stuff in order then it would be done.” But the truth is, if I ever did get it all organized, it would never stay that way. It would always be too much to maintain.
I have four young children, ages 3-11. I spent the first few years of motherhood unable to keep their stuff organized. As I began to de-own my excess stuff (and life), the burdens I allowed in my kids’ life became evident. I had enabled the clutter, busyness, and noise to invade their childhood and their bedrooms. I was setting them up to struggle, trapped in the endless cycle of taking care of too much stuff, just as I had.
I have chosen to do it differently for them.
I now choose not to set my children up for decision fatigue and avoidable frustrations. I choose not to keep them stuck in an endless cycle of organizing and caring for too many perfectly good things. Stuffing their life with too many good things will never be good for their soul.
What’s my solution? Minimalism.
After all, the easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it. ~ Joshua Fields Millburn
With their needs met, less really does mean more. At this point, another toy is not going to help my kids thrive. With enough clothing and toys, my children are less stressed and more creative in play.
How my children organize their bedroom
My approach is to train them how to manage their things without me holding their hand. I want them to feel confident and capable in simple daily tasks. You can see photos of their rooms here .
Everything has a home.
Everything in their room has a home – and room to breath. When each item has its place, there is never any question where it goes or where they need to look to find it.
Create a simple routine.
A simple routine has helped organize life and calmed the chaos. It provides our children predictability in the everyday mundane tasks, allowing them to internalize constructive habits and take charge of their activities. As a mom of four, hallelujah!
My expectations are not rooted in the actions of other families — they are formed by their unique needs and the information I’ve absorbed on child development. It’s unrealistic and unhealthy to take a snapshot moment of another child’s behavior and demand that of your child too. The moment I expect my child to complete a task because their sibling can do it, I’ve lost the ability to help them where they’re at.
When we set healthy expectations, we are better able to meet them in their need and pave the way for them to thrive, not just get by.
Everything they play with is stored for function. I choose storage solutions that keep the toys accessible to them. This allows our kids to play and clean up independently.
Family clean up time.
Sometimes life moves quicker than we can, and things start to pile up. Every Saturday we do a quick family clean up together. The kids start in their rooms while my husband and I tackle ours. Cleaning up together minimizes power struggles (we’re all doing it together) and helps them build a healthy habit of weekly maintenance.
It can be a struggle to communicate the things that matter most. How can they hear the values we parents hope for their ears to hear and their hearts to feel when our lives are spinning in every direction? Decreasing the chaos leaves more room for their ears to hear and their hearts to feel.
Time and time again, I come back to a quote from Marie Kondo.
When our children have just enough useful and beautiful things, they can spend less time doing and more time being who they were uniquely created to be.
I am choosing to live out the more of less, and I’m raising my children to do the same.