9 Ways to Cut the Chaos in Your Home

Easy ways to promote a peaceful setting for your family

Family cooking in kitchen
Kristin Rogers Photography/Stocksy United

Are there some moments in your home when things seem chaotic and out-of-control? Whether it's the dog tracking in mud again, your children fighting over something for the millionth time, or the dust bunnies merging with the piles of toys and clothes on the floor—or more likely all these things happening at the same time—parents know that things can sometimes get a bit crazy and disorderly.

As overwhelming as life as a parent with young kids can be sometimes, you needn't throw up your hands in despair.

The next time chaos seems to be taking over, try these tips to get control and instill some calm in your home.

  1. Organize. There's a reason why Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up became a bestseller: Many of us feel bogged down by the piles of laundry, toys, old clothes, old books, and other things we have accumulated piling up around us. Schedule a few hours to clear the clutter. Go through your closets and storage bins and throw out or donate anything that you don't use anymore or that your kids have outgrown. Doing this not only frees up space in your home so that you can put away the things you use now, but it also teaches kids how to be charitable and give to families in need.
  2. Find ways to streamline your schedule. Try to find ways to make things more efficient, whether it's your morning routines, bedtime rituals, or specific chores, like picking up clutter in the living room. You can do things like put out plates, bowls, and cups for breakfast the night before, pick out an outfit for school before bed, and put bags and jackets by the door so that you're ready to go in the morning. These small adjustments can make a big difference in reducing stress and making things calmer and will help you get out the door in time.
  1. Encourage good sibling relationships. One of the most common disruptors of peace and quiet are fights between siblings. To help kids get along and fight less, parents can try some strategies to build and strengthen sibling relationships and encourage a sense of teamwork between siblings to keep the peace.
  1. Limit screen use. If you try to cut down the amount of time you and your children spend with screens, you'll be amazed at how quiet and more peaceful things become. Having the TV on even when no one is really sitting and watching it creates background noise, and going on social networking sites or surfing the Internet creates distractions. To quiet your home and your mind, turn everything off after you check emails. Designate the time after dinner as screen-free time, and try turning on some quiet and soothing music instead.
  2. Boost exercise. Letting kids run around outside is not only important for their health, but it's a great way to get them tired and ready to come indoors to relax. And do the same for yourself. Take a walk at lunchtime and get plenty of sunshine, which research shows is good for your metabolism and health.
  3. Read together. A wonderful way to get kids settled and quiet is to pull out some good books. If your child is beginning to read independently, you can read your own book next to your child. Family reading time is good for kids, and a great way to build some quiet time into your household.
  1. Work on quiet activities, like crafts or creating stories. Giving kids some time on their own to create, whether it's working on kids' crafts, drawing pictures, or building imaginary worlds and making up adventures with Legos is a great way to encourage their imaginations and keep kids occupied during quiet time.
  2. Get kids to clean. Not only is having the responsibility of doing regular chores good for child development and self-esteem, but it's a habit that will keep clutter and mess from getting out of control.
  3. Relax your ideas of perfection. Some days, if you can manage to get one thing done, like getting the dishes in the sink washed and cleared, that may be your win even if you haven't had time to hit the rest of the house before collapsing in exhaustion. Break things down and tackle them one at a time, and know that the joy of having kids in your life sometimes means mud gets tracked indoors, juice gets spilled, and an orderly and organized home is a good goal, but not a reality you need to have all the time.

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