Clutter Busters for Busy Parents

Clutter Busters for Busy Parents

No, it’s not spring yet, but if you’re like many people, you may have the urge to purge right about now.  When the calendar turns to a new year and the holiday décor is all put away, it’s the perfect time to spruce things up and make space for all the great things about to come into your life in the coming year.

Good News: You Don't Have to Do It All at Once

With a jam-packed schedule, you may find it hard to find the time to get it all done.  Don’t fret, there’s good news.  You don’t have to do it all at once. Break it down into manageable steps and you’ll chip away at it bit by bit until you’re done.

Take Your Time

Home organization is a step-by-step process.  It generally takes more than a day, or even a week, to get everything just the way you want it, but once you do staying organized is an easier task.  If you have a family, enlist their help.  They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life. 

1. Start with the high traffic areas.  The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house.  Everything gets dropped on a counter, chair or table in these two places.  Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

How about this to corral the little whatcha-ma-call-its, like tv remotes that always get misplaced...or even fruit...

Incorporate pleasing-to-the-eye storage solutions for things you know will continue to end up on the counter, such as mail and bills.  Why not keep it all OFF the counter in this storage piece that does triple-duty: letter-holder, message center and key rack, all in one!

Increase your counter space even more, when you find a space on the wall for magazines or files...

2. Use storage containers.  Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional.  Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your décor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.

These wooden storage crates can round up a mess of clutter for you...use them in different rooms...

If you don't mind the contents showing, you might like wire baskets...

3. Divide items into categories.  You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part, or reusable cotton canvas laundry bags.

Everything that you find can go into a pile:


Items that will stay in that room are to keep.  Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away.  Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill.  Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Remove everything from drawers, counters and cabinets.  This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.  You can involve the kids in sorting and organizing here!

Ready to put it all back together?

Invest in a lovely drawer organizer. This one is expandable.

And pretty things up just a bit with self-adhesive shelf paper. Get your happy on, every time you open a drawer!

5. Make use of all of your available space.  In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.  That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container.  Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal.  In the bedroom, shoes and
winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.

Keep like-items together on top of the fridge with big baskets (it helps hide the contents, plus...just one grab and you have all of the items together for breakfast or what have you)...

6. Label your containers.  Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers.  Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed.  Get creative with your labeling!

Give these rustic mini-chalkboards a whirl. They'd be so cute hanging on a basket...

Organizing your entire house takes time.  But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization. That means more time for family and fun. Who doesn't want that?

What's your favorite way to organize?


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