Getting Things Done with Young Kids



A homeschool mom, home business owner and artist wrote to me saying she’d love to declutter, but has no time. I’m sure you can relate to not having enough time for what you want to do.

Most people hop around a lot. A little facebook, a little cleaning until you notice something else or a child calls. You start cleaning off the desk when you remember you wanted to call someone and another project goes partly done.


When you have multiple interests and activities, it might be helpful to put them to different days or times of the day. Perhaps 3 hours is spent on the home business, interspersed with homeschooling. Mondays and Thursday are art days for an hour as someone else watches the kids. Another interest or project is done on Tuesdays.

Stick to One Area

When you do house or decluttering projects, stick to one area. Once you start in one corner, get distracted and end up in another room you feel you make no progress. You can’t see any difference even though you’ve worked. Instead, if you work on one pile or one drawer until finished, you can actually see your progress. This makes you more likely to declutter again.

Clean as you go

You can spend less time on housework if you clean as you go. Wash dishes right after lunch and dinner. Bring things to other rooms as you go there. Pick up one project before starting another one. Pick up a spill right away before it hardens.  Go through the mail as you come into the house, recycling junk mail immediately. Put away things you buy at the store before you sit down.

In order to do this, you need to keep present in your life instead of thinking about the next things you are going to do. Or fretting about the past. Focus on what you are doing at the moment, then go on to the next thing. If you get kids interrupting – put on a post it note where you were so you can jump right back in. And sometimes kids can wait for you.  Have a timer to go off every 25 minutes or thereabouts so you can check in with yourself to see if you are still on task.

Let go of activities

You have a life, and each thing in your life needs to be maintained. If you can’t maintain relationships or your health or your home, etc. It’s time to let certain things go – activities, relationships, expectations. You also can lower standards. Maintaining your home, does not mean having a perfect home. Especially with young ones at home. You want it so you can quick pick up in 15 minutes to look reasonable. Yet, having everything perfectly in order all the time is unreasonable. And during these early parenting years you might have to do your favorite activities monthly instead of weekly (but schedule them, so you be sure to do them.)

What will you do to be able to get things done?


Beth Dargis is the founder of where she helps the overwhelmed create a saner, simpler life. Her tips are short, sweet and right to the point. She says, “I deliver … Untamed possibility. Breathe easier simplicity. Hope. On the wings of understanding and encouragement. Step by step breaking down from “no way! “ to “why not?”. Get your free declutter calendar here.

Photo by Fisk Fisk



  • Amy says:

    Goodness gracious! I absolutely NEEDED to hear this today. Getting things done with my young kids is not an easy thing, especially when I am trying instead to enjoy and make the most of our days together. I keep reminding myself that this is such a short stage in life and I will have years ahead to perfect the organizing I so dearly want to “complete”. In the meantime, it is really nice to hear it from someone else. Thanks!

  • Beth says:

    So glad Amy. Yes this is a short stage. Enjoy your memories!

  • Crystal says:

    I’ve recently had to let activities go. So if feels good to here confirmation on my decision. I was feeling pretty down, but I knew that it is what my family needs from me right now at this time.

  • Crystal says:

    So IT feels good…Sorry!

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