Housekeeping and clearing clutter
Are you a pack rat? Or are you one of those people who don’t keep anything for very long? Read on about how to clear the clutter in your home and lives. Trust us, if you do it right, clutter can be reduced to a minimum--even with kids around!
Either way, clutter can invade even the neatest of homes from time to time. But by following the following short and simple tips that follow, you can keep household clutter to a minimum.
One at a time
Tackle one room at a time. And then take it one closet, one shelf and one drawer at a time. As you go through things, the first thing you need to do is purge.
Throw away anything that belongs with something you no longer own (a patch kit to your teenagers’ wading pool or the book to the old dryer), anything broken and anything you can’t identify.
Once the junk is gone, take a good look at what’s left. From here, remove anything that your children have either outgrown or don’t play with any longer and things you a) forgot you had b) haven’t used in a year and c) don’t want.
Yes! You can finally get rid of that vase from your distant cousin without feeling guilty! These items should be carted off to the donation bin or given to someone who can and will use them.
NOTE: Hanging on to these discarded items longer than a month just leads to more clutter.
Find out more tips on clearing the clutter on page 2
The world is full of organizational tools to help keep everything from silverware, craft and sewing notions, toys, and clothing to financial records and collections (valuable or not) neatly organized, stored and possibly even displayed. These bins, boxes, shelving units and labeling devices take away all valid reasons one might give for being a clutter-bug…especially since they are generally easy on the budget.
Once you have de-cluttered and organized a room, make sure everyone in the house is aware of the redo and the new rules and expectations you’ve put in place to keep things as they are.
Make sure your family takes you seriously by putting ‘penalties’ in place for carelessness and disregard for the new norm. Doing someone else’s chores or something similar will keep everyone on their toes.
But what about…
But what about those things that don’t fit into any of the categories we’ve already mentioned-things like magazines with articles you want to refer to, holiday décor, family keepsakes you won’t part with but aren’t safe to use, mementoes from your children and so on?
Find out how to organise keepsakes and odd items at home without causing clutter.
- Tear out the recipes or articles from magazines and insert them into page protectors in a binder you label appropriately (recipes, beauty/fashion, crafts, kid’s stuff…).
- Or…find the article on the magazine’s website and PIN it.
- Holiday décor and other seasonal gear can be stored together in a closet, the attic, basement, or in the eaves of the garage.
- As for family treasures (including your husband’s bowling trophies), display them in your home. Designate a couple of bookshelves or a cabinet to house these items. Doing so will keep your family’s past heritage in the present and will show hubby you are proud of his mad bowling skills (unless he’s good with them living out their life in the attic).
It’s all in the organization of what you own
Organisation is the key to conquering clutter. Organisation doesn’t mean sparse or going without – it simply involves having a dedicated place for everything.
Once you’ve de-cluttered you need to provide your family with the ‘tools’ necessary to maintain a state of organisation. To do this, you need to:
- Place a basket in the entry way or mud room for to house book bags, hats, etc.
- Every house needs a designated drawer or organizer for mail. The ‘organizer’ for all that junk mail should have the name of trash can.
- If you recycle, keep the recycling bins in the basement or garage. No discussion. Who needs or wants the clutter and mess in the house?
- Use end tables or coffee tables with storage compartments or shelves to house books, movies, video games and to display pictures. Flat top trunks and large baskets can double as end tables too.
- Place shelving units in your children’s rooms which hold bins or baskets that can be easily labeled for all those little things kids just have to have.
The feeling that comes with de-cluttering and organizing your home-it’s as refreshing as the warmth and sweetness of spring!