Declutter your way to an organized home...
then tidy up time is child's play!

I know you want an organized home. I really do. And I have a really tough question for you:

Do you have too much STUFF?

If so, know that you are not alone! I hope you haven't fallen into one of the four common pitfalls . But I do need to tell you that if you can declutter, your efforts toward a clean and organized home are infinitely easier and more effective.
So what's it going to take for you to get organized? I understand that there are some additional challenges when dealing with the inundation of presents during holiday times or birthdays, but let's start talking generally.
Understand that there are times when you want to clean and times when you just need the house picked up a little (or a lot)...

An organized home is easy to clean and easy to keep it that way. I've created 6 fun ways to tidy up so it doesn't have to be a chore.

Sometimes, though, we say "clean" when we really mean "tidy." Kids need to understand the difference between the two (and so do you) because each has different expectations. Make sure you outline these differences on their cleaning lists . For tidying up general or common areas, here are four strategies to make it easier for kids to contribute.

Try these four strategies today:

1. Create your Zones:

Divide up the house into reasonable zones. This can be by room, or parts of rooms. Each child gets a zone to manage (keep it tidy). You can either assign a zone to each child, or let them choose. This is a great way for kids to learn to get organized themselves.

In our family, my kids of course keep their bedroom (mostly) clean, and they also are responsible for keeping a zone of the house tidy.

2. Implement a Family Fifteen:

For the general areas that tend to accumulate a lot of clutter and mess, we have a group approach to tidying up. Every evening we as a family do a “Family Fifteen.” Keeping the house tidy is not kid stuff; it's a family affair. Young kids especially emulate adults, so guess what?

We put on some energetic music and everyone in the family works for 15 minutes. (You'd be surprised how much can be accomplished when everyone is chipping in!) With a family of four, that's an entire hour of work! Well, not really with little ones, but you get the idea.

Family Fifteen can be a great addition to any nighttime routine, and it really makes a difference. It's important to note that the "Family Fifteen" is not the time to actually put everything away!


3. Designate a Tidy Up Basket:

We have what I call a “tidy-up basket” that collects random things that are in your zone that need to be put away. We have a basket in each of the bedrooms and the living room area.

Your challenge, of course, is to regularly empty the basket in order for this to be effective. You do not want the tidy-up basket to be a stand alone storage area! In our family, we have tied this system to allowance. 4. Create The Three Piles:

For just a general “tidy.” In our home, when I see a mess in someone's bedroom, for example, just about every single thing on the floor can fit into one of three categories: trash, laundry, or “stuff-that-can-be-tossed-into-the-tidy-up-basket.”


Make it easy for them!

But don't forget to build a time into your week for kids to check and for you yourself to empty the the tidy-up basket. Remember that the tidy-up basket should not be an actual storage area! Empty it at least once a week!

If you can declutter a little bit (or maybe a lot!) you will be on your way toward getting organized. These four strategies can make tidy up time fun for kids and easy for you to create an organized home.

Getting organized also means taking charge of your finances , so make sure you're taking care of your own stuff so you can teach your kids.

Do you ever have charitable organizations calling you soliciting donated items? This is a great opportunity to declutter! I am on a first name basis with these people! I love it when they call!

Between the handful of charities, I have a pick up about every three weeks, and I give them at least three or four bags of stuff. You can easily call to arrange for a pick up, too. It is SO much easier to have an organized home when you have less clutter!

Once you simplify and declutter, you can organize your home room by room! Find tips at and get started today. Also check out the Fly Lady for some additional support as you declutter. You can do it! And be sure to share your best organization ideas below!

What is your best organizing idea?

Go to Declutter! from Organized Home

Are you ready to get your kids organized?
Click here:


Quick Links mentioned on this page:

Common Pitfalls

Too Many Gifts

Kids Cleaning

Clean Up Games

Cleaning Lists


Your Own Finances

Organizing Room by Room

Fly Lady Review