The Single Parent’s Quick Guide to Simplifying Your Home

I have raised two sons and for a large portion of their childhood, I was a single mother. I was working odd jobs in accounting trying to make ends meet as a young mom. While I am quite sure I didn’t do everything “right,” I sure learned a lot along the way. One of those major lessons was how to simplify my life to make it easier to parent. 

Simplifying your home and your life makes things so much easier. It frees up your time and energy to focus on what really matters–your children. Here’s how to simplify your life and home to clear the way for positive parenting.


For every item you own, there is maintenance, keeping it clean and organized, and energy to upkeep the “stuff.” Having less stuff allows you to use that energy for other things.

  • Sell off items you no longer need.
  • Donate items you are not using.
  • Get rid of things that are a suck on your energy and time.
  • Avoid having to pay for storage to keep things you don’t use

The general rule of thumb is to set aside things you have not used in the past year. If you have not needed it within a year, it’s unlikely it is something worth keeping.

Stay organized

The more organized your home, the less time you spend looking for things, getting ready, and moving around in your home.

Areas of focus:

  • Keep a well-organized calendar and remove activities that you can de-prioritize–this makes your time more focused and productive.
  • Kids toys–To keep things tidy, keep a few storage bins of their toys put away and routinely switch out the toys available in their room. Routinely go through the bins and thin out by donating toys they no longer play with. 
  • Kids clothing. Each year before school starts, you can also go through the older clothes to donate some. This way you’ll know what clothing needs they have for the school year. Keep the clothing tidy by arranging non-seasonal clothing toward the back of the closet or putting them into bins. 

Have enough storage bins and containers to keep everything tidy. A good place for these bins are in shelves, under the bed or in bookcases. Keep them away from your main traffic areas for safety reasons too.

The more organized your home, the less time you spend looking for things, getting ready, and moving around in your home.

Think ahead

Planning avoids last minute time-wasting decisions. Have a back up plan ready if you need it and plan ahead for things that could go wrong. A little thinking ahead saves you a LOT of time.

Here are some ways you can plan ahead to keep your home running smoothly and your household routine simplified.

  • Involve your kids with a chore chart. It’s helpful to get things done but also to teach home management skills and responsibility.
  • Don’t tackle too many projects at once. Just do a quick walk-through picking up clutter or focus on the laundry. Taking on too much at once can just make you feel overwhelmed.
  • Kitchen–Plan ahead for groceries, cooking, and snacks. This will simplify your time and help you stick to a budget.

Simplify your life, your schedule, and your household to free up more time for what really matters.Single-parenting is hard, but you can do this!

Chanelle Dupre

Chanelle Dupre is a writer of parenting articles and was a single parent for 20 years to two sons now in their late 20's. She had a column in 3 newspapers and this blog is a curation of old and new stories around the challenges of single parenting and ideas on how to make life easier.

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