When it comes to cleaning our homes, most of us react with the mixture of dread and anxiety. Especially in homes that have one or more children, cleaning can often seem like an impossible task, as most kids inevitably leave a mess in their wake wherever they go. But kids and adults alike can stand to benefit immensely from a clean and organized environment, for reasons both obvious and subtle.
First off, however, it's important to underscore the difference between the two main types of cleaning activities: organizing and decluttering. The former includes all efforts made to systematically arrange already existing items in an optimum way, while the latter refers to removing unnecessary objects from the environment. Both are essential, but if you really want to boost the available space inside your home and also increase its overall value, you stand to gain the most from letting go of stuff that you no longer need. With that distinction firmly in mind, it's time to take a closer look at the myriad benefits associated with decluttering a home, with a special focus on the ones that pertain to your children:
Toys will be much easier to find
Toys are an integral part of any kid-friendly environment. Whether it's colorful plush dolls or intricate action figures, it's likely that your kids have already formed strong bonds with their respective toys. But having a lot of toys is one thing, and making a mess of them quite another. Set aside an appropriate box with the sole purpose of designating it as a toy container, and enforce the "one toy in, one toy out rule" in order to prevent chaos from ensuing. Additionally, if your child has grown weary of certain toys, consult your young ones and see if giving them away to a local charity might be an option worth considering.
Health hazards are kept to a minimum
Clutter is not only annoying, it can also lead to unnecessary health risks down the line, due to its nasty habit of attracting dust and dust mites. These can increase the prevalence of respiratory issues, especially in children that are predisposed to asthma and various allergies. Even worse, the mere presence of toys and other items in inappropriate places increases the likelihood of unfortunate slips, trips and other falls to occur. Avoid such pointless risks by ensuring that every item in your child's room has a place of its own.
It builds good cleaning habits
Starting from a relatively young age, children should be implicated in the cleaning process, thereby making cleaning a family affair. This doesn't mean you have to rely on your little ones to perform complicated or difficult tasks such as scrubbing or mopping, but they can help by picking up their toys and washing their share of the dishes. By keeping your home clutter-free and organized, you'll send them a message that cleanliness is an integral part of life, and that whatever efforts they expend during the cleaning process will be rewarded with a more enjoyable environment once the job is done.
It will teach them the value of leading a simple life
Perhaps more than anything else, the problem with leading a clutter-filled life is that it fosters an unnatural connection with the things we own. Studies have shown that objects can have a powerful grip on their owners, who tend to view them as irreplaceable items that have deep ties to their favorite memories. When you throw out stuff that is no longer useful, you are implicitly rejecting this ideology, something that your children will invariably take to heart. What's more, you'll pass on the value of leading a simple life to your kids, who will have a shot at growing up free of such unhealthy bonds.
All in all, it's clear that having an uncluttered home leads to a more productive and enjoyable life, which is a definite boon if you already have your hands full between your personal and professional responsibilities. The benefits of having fewer things to worry about also have a trickle-down effect on your entire household, including your kids, who thus receive a valuable lesson about life and what one truly needs in order to be happy.