Decluttering our house has given me so much ease when it comes to homeschooling. I used to waste tons of time looking for what we needed, but that’s all changed since I massively cleared our home.
This isn’t a minimalism blog, but I do want your homeschooling life to be a little easier. You have enough plates to juggle when educating your children at home. Clutter does not jive with ease!
That’s why I’m sharing how decluttering drastically calmed down my life. Getting rid of things made it SO much easier to keep a clean home. I have much more time to homeschool now. Head to the bottom of the post if you’re looking for actionable advice pronto.
Too Much Stuff
We have a problem with possessions in the USA. We have tons of them. There’s always something new and amazing to buy. Children’s items are getting through-the-roof cute.
Gift-giving is expected for nearly every occasion. It’s a hard habit to break, even for those of us who want to own less. We know excess stuff can be a burden, but sometimes it just feels rude not to give a gift. Sure, presents are fun to receive, but they can quickly inundate the house. Especially around December.
The result of holidays for me was stress about constant cleaning and an inability to feel calm at home. That’s when I realized that the we had a “stuff problem.” I had to pare down if I wanted to feel relaxed in my home again.
Less clutter = more happiness
The way I got the decluttering train rolling was to get really, really mad.
The state of my house was like an inevitable storm slowly rolling in. As was my mood. I had a baby and two bigger homeschooled kids. The toys, books, and clothes piled up slowly, making life harder. I found myself mad at the mess all of the time. All I did was clean, constantly.
It’s extremely difficult to maintain a house packed with items, especially when you never have your hands free. I wish I were one of those people who didn’t mind clutter, but it really drives me crazy. I have a hard time focusing and finding things when there’s too much stuff in a room. There’s no time to actually clean the dirty stuff when you’re constantly shuffling the stuff.
In hindsight, the baby days could have been so much happier if I weren’t so stressed by all the clutter and cleaning. That stress and anger got me to ask myself the question:
How do you want to spend your time?
That important thought changed my perspective and made it so much easier to let go of physical objects for the sake of getting more time with my family.
I finally realized how much time I was spending looking after possessions. I didn’t want my memories of my children’s young years to be full of stress and clutter. Yet no matter how much I wanted to play with them all day, I spent most of my time cleaning and picking up instead.
Once I said “enough is enough” the changes were incredible.
The Great Purge
I grabbed big trash bags and took my frustration out on the piles of junk around the house. I’d pick something up and put it away or give it away. Each time I grabbed something, I reminded myself “This object is standing between you and calmness. It is keeping you from spending time with the kids.”
Was that item really worth keeping?
I cut my closet in half and got rid of tons of plastic toys. Over the course of a few weeks I got rid of at least ten trash bags. They went straight to the thrift store.
It’s been more than a year since then. Naturally, things have calmed down as my little babe has grown into a sweet, easier toddler.
But one thing is for sure: I have felt calmer, happier, and more at ease since letting the excess go. I’m more excited to start each day and have so much more time to do what interests me, not just clean. I want the same for every parent, because homeschooling is hard enough without a surplus of random baggage in the way.
Our houses can make us feel one way or another. The vast majority of people feel more calm and creative in a clean, open environment. My house isn’t magazine-perfect and doesn’t necessarily look minimalist. But getting rid of ten bags of unnecessary objects made all the difference in the world. I can relax here now. I can clean the place quickly. I feel lighter when I come home. Decluttering for homeschool happiness is real.
Action Time: A Quick and Easy Purge
If you’re researching decluttering tips, chances are you’re ready to take action, not just read about it. It’s time to declutter for homeschool happiness so you can spend more time with your kids and less time cleaning up after them! It doesn’t matter where you start, let’s go!
- Grab a trash bag.
- Pick up anything that’s on the ground and in heaps.
- Put it where it belongs if it’s REALLY worth keeping.
- Don’t think too hard. If your first impulse is to get rid of it, stuff it in the bag.
- It’s OK to throw it away. Broken items? Half-finished projects? Let them go! Free yourself to do something you WANT to do!
- Fill a bag and take it straight to the nearest donation center.
- Repeat and repeat and repeat.
- Once you’ve finished the great purge: stay in the habit of editing your belongings often.
- Immediately toss broken items, junk mail, torn clothes, etc.
- Try giving yourself a set number you can keep. For instance, 5 baby blankets or 2 jackets. It’ll force you to pick your favorites. Can you wear more than one swimsuit at a time? Get rid of the extras!
Once you’ve finished your great purge, you’ll likely have momentum to tackle more spaces in your house. You’ll be more inclined to adopt minimalist principles like:
- Dealing with mail as soon as it arrives. Trash the envelope, take action, and recycle.
- One in: one out. We don’t need more hangers, we need less clothes. Do you reeaalllly love that shirt you want to buy? Which one are you going to get rid of in it’s place?
- Have kids go through clothes seasonally. Pass along what they’ve outgrown before you bring out the next season’s clothes.
- Ask kids what they’d like to donate before birthdays and big gift holidays.
- Keep a bag by the door to catch stuff you’re done with. We usually donate one grocery sack a week.
- Try making silly rules for yourself. Over here, I hate clowns. I instantly get rid of any book, toy, clothing, etc. that has clowns on it. Maybe yours is stripes? Plastic? White clothes? It makes decluttering easy!
- Buy less, get rid of more.
Give these things a try. I guarantee you’ll feel better, more sane, and more available for your children and their schooling. After all, those are the things that matter. Not the toys you’re tripping over to get there.
Get rid of junk! Do what you love! Free up your time! Homeschool with Happiness, not clutter and chaos! You Got This!!!
Here are a few more resources that have helped me to own less.
One of my very favorites is New Order by Fay Wolfe. She breaks down every step into super easy actions. It feels like your best friend is helping you out.
Becoming Minimalist is full of fantastic articles. I love their Inspiring Simplicity weekend reads.
Allie Casazza has great tips about minimalism with kids.