Clutter is one of those things that makes your house look dirty, even if you just tidied up! We all fall victim to clutter at one time or another, especially with kids around. To help you win the battle, here are a few clever ways to help you tame the clutter and enjoy your home more.
1. Create Drop Zones
We all have those places where clutter tends to accumulate. Near the front door, the kitchen counter, at the bottom of the stairs. Instead of trying to fight it piece-by-piece, why not create drop zone? Try neat rack or shelf for shoes and backpacks, hooks for your purse and keys, and one of those nifty stair baskets for things that need to go with you the next time you’re on your way up. At least you’ll have things contained.
2. Put a Label on It
If you like it, then you’d better put a label on it! Get yourself a handy label maker, or at least some adhesive tags you can write on. Use small bins or boxes for all that tiny stuff like tape, binder clips, little notepads, etc. If you label the box, you’ll know what’s in it without digging through several.
3. Give Everyone a Bin (or Two)
Everyday life seems to fly in the face of eliminating clutter. You might not be able to prevent it, but you can keep it in check. Give everyone their own bin or basket (one that won’t look out of place in your living room). When their shoes, phones, or other belongings start cluttering up the living space, throw it in their bin. Then at least every night before bed, have everyone grab their bin and put their stuff away.
4. Tame the Pantry Beast
You’ve probably got boxes of granola bars, fruit snacks, nuts, or other individually-wrapped snacks in your pantry. At my house, we bought plastic bins at the dollar store for all of this stuff. When the kids pack their lunch, they know they can grab one thing from each color-coded bin. The bins keep things neat in the pantry and actually save room. Why not do something similar in your refrigerator?
5. Stay on Top of Dishes
Most of us do dishes after dinner, but what about the rest of the day? If you load dishes into the dishwasher as they are used, nobody has to do them all at once. Even better if everyone loads their own plate and utensils (and perhaps a couple other things used during the meal) every time. You can even ration dishes and have everyone use their own set. There you go…dishes are now a family effort.
6. Go Down Under
If your bed isn’t high enough for storage, get some risers to raise it up a bit. It’ll look great, and you’ll have room underneath the bed for storage bins. Try storing your out-of-season clothing in bins under the bed. You’ll save lots of room (and reduce clutter) in your closet.
7. Use Sneaky Storage
Baskets on bookshelves, storage ottomans, and wooden chests for coffee tables can add a lot of “quick-throw” storage to your living areas. Got company coming? There’s nothing wrong with stashing away magazines, toys, blankets, and DVDs until later when you can put them away.