How to declutter and organise your home with kids – and keep it that way

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Kids are so good at creating messes and accumulating clutter, which usually sends us a little crazy, giving us the illusion it is impossible to declutter and organise your home.  However, with a few simple rules it is possible to have kids, a tidy home and keep it that way.


How to declutter and organise your home with kids

Your house does not need to be show-home spotless, we don’t want that, our goal is to have a homely lived in house, whilst keeping the clutter manageable.

1. Purge all clutter

Ok this is one very obvious tip, but honestly it’s the foundation and key starting point to organise your home.  Sort through the kids toys, clothes, drawers and all the other ‘stuff’.   Purge (donate, giveaway, sell, hand-down etc):

  • clothes the kids have outgrown or anything that is broken
  • toys they no longer play with
  • ornaments and other decorative items that no longer suit their personality or age
  • excess toys – do they have too much, consider rotating them
  • books that are no longer suitable for their age group

With less stuff this will make their space easier to keep tidy and be more manageable.

2. Create homes and zones for kids items

Kids have so much stuff, shoes, school bags, homework, reading books, toys, clothes ooh the list is endless.  Make sure all their items have a home or area they belong. Create a designated play zones for the kids (bedroom, playroom, lounge room) teach them from a young age once they have finished playing to put everything away, ie. no eating lunch until toys are away, no TV until toys are away etc.

Here are a few zones I have made in our home:


Read more about the toyroom makeover above, here.

3. Routines for kids

Giving me kids a routine to follow each morning completely saves my sanity.  In their routine they are to brush their teeth before getting dressed (so toothpaste doesn’t spill on their clean uniform), make their bed, tidy their room etc.  By getting them to keep their room tidy it’s one less thing for me to worry about.


Read more about my families before school routine, here.

4. Get the kids to help

Getting the kids to help around the house teaches them responsibility, giving them self-confidence and is of course so very helpful for you!  I remember when my kids first asked to unpack the dishwasher I didn’t think they were capable, I was wrong.  Just stand back and let them have a go.


Read through my list of age appropriate chores here.

If you’re struggling to get your house under control you may enjoy the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge.  Through the challenge I guide you on organising and decluttering one area a day to reduce the overwhelm.  Taking your time helps make the process easier and gives you the opportunity to really consider if you need all the excess you have collected over the years.  Share daily routines to help start every day in better spirits, your family will notice the warmth in your smile and overall calmness.


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Lisa February 19, 2015 - 10:35 AM

great tips Kat! With a toddler and a baby my house is a constant disaster zone!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 19, 2015 - 2:17 PM

Oh thank you Lisa! .:)

Shell February 19, 2015 - 1:24 PM

I’m inspired to get onto our clutter, but one of our biggest problems is the toys. Do you have any tips to get kids to part with outgrown toys? Or do you just get rid of them without their knowledge? Thanks.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 19, 2015 - 2:16 PM

Hi Shell, Depending on how old your children are, i sat down with mine and asked them to donate toys they had out grown and or no longer played with. If your children are quite young you could consider storing them away. Kids like the idea of donating and giving to charity.

Jacinta February 19, 2015 - 2:35 PM

My mum tried to smuggle all my soft toys to vinnies when i was in my teens. I caught her and was horrified! I saved as many as i could carry lol

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 9:48 AM

LOL i love it, Jacinta.:) x ~ Kate

Laura February 22, 2015 - 8:24 AM

Leading up to Christmas and birthdays we have a little clean out and ask the kids (5 &3) to pick a few toys they feel they have outgrown or no longer play with to donate to kids that don’t have toys. They are happy to do this as we explain it is a really good thing to do and it will make room for the new toys they will get. We let them pick what to donate so they don’t feel like we are just getting rid of their toys.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 9:15 AM

A wonderful idea, Laura! I also do the exact same thing. It teaches kids so many wonderful qualities.

Jacinta February 19, 2015 - 2:33 PM

I would love to declutter but my house has zero storage space! Will be getting my litte man into cleaning as soon as he can walk though lol Start em early, a cloth and some water.

Shelley R February 19, 2015 - 5:04 PM

My daughter has not started to like polly pocket, Lego and barbi all with some very small bits! I’m walking round the house finding barbi shoes in the carpet! What’s the best way to keep these bits together so they are easy to find and so she knows what item goes with what toys…

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 23, 2015 - 8:56 AM

Hi Shelley, I hear what you are saying! Barbie shoes are so little and tend to get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner if not stored away correctly. I have kept all of mine in a plastic container that way they are all there and not like to get lost or misplaced.

Deanne Shannon February 20, 2015 - 3:50 PM

Just wondering if by any chance did anyone else see somewhere a thing about letting kids know what we expect them to do when cleaning their rooms???? I have a nine year old and she just doesn’t get what I mean when I ask her to tidy her room.

Thanks in advance


son February 20, 2015 - 9:49 PM

Deanne, you go in with them the first few times and do it with them. Explain what you are doing or what things are called, I asked my 7yr old to wipe the skirting boards last week and he did his, the hallway our bed room and the kitchen! He said it was so much fun he just kept going!!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 9:37 AM

LOL i love it! Good on him.:) ~ Kate

Molly February 21, 2015 - 6:12 PM

i will be taking on board so many of your tips and ideas over the coming weeks. we have just today moved house and i am so overwhelmed by how much stuff we have, even though over the past couple of years i have been culling so much…i have no idea where to start!!!
im sitting here looking at all our ‘stuff’ and wondering why we have so much. really do we actually need it…i need to get tough and get rid of some. thanks for your wonderful tips!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 9:19 AM

Hi Molly, I totally understand what you are saying, it can be very overwhelming. Try starting in one room and then moving on to the next once that room is completely finished. I think once the beds are set and made the next room i would concentrate on would by the kitchen and go from there.

Molly February 24, 2015 - 7:07 PM

thanks Kat! i have almost finished the kids rooms now, just a few things to put away and create a school bag nook. started the kitchen and feeling a little more like i have some control. have been cleaning our old rental, so tomorrow i am so ready to tackle our new place and will create a list of what storage i need to get.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2015 - 8:57 AM

WOW you are doing a wonderful job! I bet it looks just beautiful.:) ~ Kate

Yvonne February 22, 2015 - 8:26 AM

Hi Kat, we are on track with most things but just wondering if you could help with this one. Our granddaughter lives with us, she knows to do her bedroom etc. She isn’t to bad, so yesterday I decided i would get her to do something else and watched her also supervise her clean her bathroom and toilet. Because she has done something extra she wants pocket money. How much should we give her?…she is 12 in July. Should we pay her more for doing extra. What do you do with your twins. Thanks

Emma February 22, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Hi Yvonne, as pre teens we started with the bathroom cleaning and pocket money started at $3 per week and went up 50c per year. My parents did buy all necessities. Chores also went up every year. I.e cook a meal do ironing etc.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 8:51 AM

That is fantastic, Emma!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 23, 2015 - 9:13 AM

Hi Yvonne, Okay firstly i want to say it sounds like you are doing a great job raising your grand daughter. With my children i give them $10 a week pocket money, $5 of which goes straight into their bank account and the other $5 is for them to spend. In saying that if they fail to do one of their chores i take 50 cents off them. I personally wouldn’t give extra money for extra chores as i believe at the age of 12 (same age as my daughter) they need to have some responsibility around the home and with every extra chore they will want extra pocket money. Maybe it is something that can be revised every 6 – 12 months. I hope this helps you. ~ Kate

Jeremy @CLNR March 24, 2015 - 2:58 AM

All great ideas, but have you tried making cleaning games so as to engage your kids in the cleaning process? Recently I came across something called “game theory” and was wondering if anyone has given that a try. My kids are 4 and 6 and me and my wife are looking for a way to make home cleaning a bit more appealing to them. All input will be greatly appreciated, tnx!

Helen May 22, 2015 - 11:30 PM

How would you combat the toy,clothes,storage issue if you are quite organised but have all ages…? (1,6 and 10). Thanks

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 25, 2015 - 8:55 AM

Hi Helen, I would suggest with the kiddies clothes anything that they are not currently wearing to place in vacuum storage bags. Toys is a tricker one because they are a lot more bulky but if you can store them in boxes and rotate them according to their ages, maybe storing them in an unused cupboard. Hope these ideas help.:)


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