If you’re new to Happily Ever Mom, you may not know that I’m on a quest to find organization tips that work for Moms who get overwhelmed by clutter and messes.
When I see a big giant mess, my first instinct is to walk away. I get overwhelmed just by seeing a big mess. I think to myself:
- Where do I start cleaning up?
- Where does everything go?
- How can I get my kids to help when I can’t even do it myself?
Then I don’t know what to do, so I avoid the mess all together.
Honestly, I’m getting better at it, but that’s primarily because of my husband’s genius idea. He started something in our family that is so simple, I didn’t think it would work…
The kids are playing and there are stacks of toys starting to pile up.
A mound of legos and barbie dolls were left out the night before and instead of picking them up when the kids went to bed, you put the dishes away and started a load of laundry (priorities, right?).
You thought: oh, I’ll pick it all up tomorrow…
But, then one of the kids woke up too early and your exhausted, so those toy pile starts to get bigger and bigger.
And, that’s when you get overwhelmed by clutter.
Well, at least I do.
When my house gets to that level of messy, it’s hard for me to motivate myself to clean up let alone to motivate the kids!
But, this is where our little trick comes in…
How to Clean Up When You’re Overwhelmed ~ One Simple Strategy
You (or an older child) throw all of the toys/mess into a BIG pile in the middle of the room.
This part is really important: Don’t try to sort the mess, just throw them into a big pile.
Once everything that’s on the floor, on side tables, on the couch, under the couch, etc. is in a big pile in the center of the room, start sorting into smaller piles.
How to Make Clean Up Time Easier
Now that you have the large pile in the middle of the room, start sorting things by which room/place they go to!
Did you catch that? Don’t pile all the stuffed animals together if a few go to your kids room and a few go to the play room.
Pile the stuffed animals that go to the kids room together. Then, pile the stuffed animals that go to the playroom together. These little piles that you are making need to go to the same place.
- Clothes —> Go to the Laundry room
- Stuffed animals, pillows —-> Go to Kid’s room
- Shoes —-> Go to shoe closet
- Toys —> Go to toy bins
Then, give your kids a pile to take to their place and put away.
It Doesn’t End Here…
Keep working until the pile gets smaller and smaller. You’ll probably be left with a few items that are hard to put away.
Those are the first things that we consider donating or getting rid of.
In fact, grab this free printable to help you decide what to get rid of and what to keep.
Why does this work?
- It’s more efficient – you don’t have to spend five minutes trying to figure out where to put ONE annoying toy. From the pile, choose the ones that you can quickly put away first, then figure out the harder ones later.
- It’s less overwhelming – With a big pile, you always know where to start when you’re cleaning up a room – everyone starts to throw everything in the middle!
- It’s simple – Even toddlers can help bring toys into a big pile in the center of the room, but they can’t necessarily remember where to put toys away. This tactic gets everyone involved. Less fuss is easier for everyone in the family.