Ways to Engage the Entire Family in De-Cluttering the Home
If you want to make organizing your home stress-free – and even enjoyable, then you can make it a family affair. Not only will decluttering as a family provide an opportunity for bonding, it’s also an excellent way to instill the value of simplicity, organization and responsibility in children. Taking care of the home is not just a mother’s domain; it’s something that every member of the family – young and old alike – can take pride in.
The following are some tips in engaging family members to help manage clutter in the home:
Assign each member of the family their “zone to defend.”
Divide and conquer is the way to go when going about an extremely overwhelming task such as freeing the home from clutter. Give each member of the family an area of responsibility, a zone that they have to look after and be responsible for. For instance: Joe can be in charge of the garage, Jodie the kitchen. If your family is game for some friendly competition, you may even provide rewards for family members who have consistently and successfully defended their area of responsibility.
Encourage the habit of “raising the alarm.”
Is there a brewing clutter in the living room area? Then it’s best to nip it in the bud! Encourage every member of the family in being vigilant when it comes to watching out for potential clutter magnets. Make them raise the alarm and inform everyone of if they have a discovery and a solution to suggest. This is something that even very young children can take part in – you can give them bright post-it memos to mark the beginnings of a clutter pile. When you have a system to manage clutter before it progresses to problematic levels, then you won’t ever have that problem of “too overwhelming to tackle” ever again.
Start regular feedback meetings.
One effective way of involving everyone in managing household clutter is to conduct regular family meetings devoted to clutter control. The meetings can be the venue for brainstorming for ways to handle specific problems. But more importantly, it is the place where family members can give each other well-meaning feedback regarding the clutter in their life. Because of our emotional attachment to the things that we own, it’s almost always impossible to be objective regarding our ability to let go of clutter. Feedback from the people we love can be a gentle but valuable reminder of the changes we need to implement in our life. Something for members to remember is that someone may find a problem in their territory someday.
Come up with your “Dirty Dozen.”
Lastly, family members can support decluttering in the home by coming up with a monthly dirty dozen – that is, 12 objects that they will dispose of for that month. The manner of disposal can vary; the objects might be sold, given away or thrown to thrash. What’s important is that there exists a regular ritual for purging the clutter in the home. The practice can help family members be more discerning when it comes to their attachment to the objects they own. If everyone knows that they have to let go of 12 things at the end of the month, then the only things that they will keep are the things that really matter to them.
Working together as a team is a good way to learn life lessons and skills. Let members be creative and listen to the suggestions of even the young members. Encourage participation by everyone and start your team building today!