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Homing your child’s favorite toys in a particular area and making its upkeep the child’s responsibility will ensure accountability.
I grew up in a fairly Minimal home where we were well fed, had loads of craft work and parents splurged on books. We traveled a lot and that has resulted in my focus on experience over things. As an adult somehow I got into FOMO(Fear of missing out culture) and accumulated stuff way beyond comprehension.
Since the past 4 years, I have started decluttering and following Minimalism, remembering my parents child rearing methods. I am eternally grateful to my parents for my upbringing. From experience, I can say that action speaks louder than words. My parents lived a fairly Minimal life, Decluttered regularly, emphasized on activities rather than accumulation of stuff.
As more and more people are working from home, with restrictions on travel and online studies from home, we are forced to stay at home in confined spaces. It becomes imperative to make our spaces free from unnecessary visual clutter so all members can function optimally without stepping on each other’s territory. A peaceful, well oiled and cozy atmosphere at home is what Decluttering can help achieve.
Now ,the question arises whether children can play an important role in Decluttering.
In my opinion, absolutely. Here are some tips that will give you positive results.
1● Be the change you want to see.
You have to start Decluttering your space first. Do not preach and nag anyone. Take small steps. Make sure all counters are cleared and spruce up living space as you go about your routine. After meals clear up the kitchen. Try and Declutter when the children are watching. Declutter your junk drawer, table top,closet or kitchen drawers and tell them,in fact show them the results and feel happy openly. You will be surprised how quickly your mood registers with them. They will definitely get motivated.
2● Involve the children
Casually, Request them to help you clear up the dining area after meals or return all remotes and cushions to their places before retiring from the living room. They will be more than willing to help. Do this every day and it will become a habit. Slowly increase the area. Ask them to return everything to its dedicated area before leaving a room. Make it look like a game. Soon it will become routine.
3● Patience is the name of the game.
Show them your Decluttered spaces and encourage them to try the same. Remember, forcing will be counterproductive.It might take days, sometimes months to even make a dent. Keep patience and carry on Decluttering your spaces. Slowly but surely it will rub off on other members of the household.
4● Never start decluttering with the children’s toys.
In fact ask the kids to fit in their toys in a dedicated space. If it does not fit, ask them to make space for them in their closets. Insist on not leaving any toy lying on the floor, desk or bed. Praise them for their efforts.
The pictures displayed in this blog are from my daughter’s room. She picked up this habit of decluttering from me. Decluttering has become an integral part of her life. In fact, now that she has grown up and has her own home, I get motivated watching her.
5● Teach them the importance of donating.
Teach your children to donate stuff they have outgrown. Seeing you donating regularly will motivate them. Keep a dedicated donation box at home, you can just write Donate on a cardboard box and its good to go.This way they will learn a lesson in kindness and compassion towards the less fortunate. They will also feel grateful for their possessions and take better care of their stuff.
As we spend more time together at home,these lessons in Decluttering will be the best that parents can provide. These are valuable life long lessons that will help your children develop into mindful adults. They will be conscious of their purchases and the impact of their decisions on the environment.
In fact, your simple yet patient act of teaching your children the art of decluttering by example is a revolutionary act in itself. It is an act of activism at home. Your children will thank you for this precious gift.