by Jacquie Ross of CastAway the Clutter!
Regardless of whether you’re a busy working parent or stay at home parent, if you have kids, you probably have some clutter in your home. Everyone has stuff. The problem occurs when the stuff begins to take over and gets in the way of living in a comfortable and functional home. Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your home clutter-free while setting a good example for the rest of your family.
- Ask yourself what you use on a daily basis in your kitchen and bathroom. If you find you only pull out your pasta strainer or hair dryer once every couple of weeks, store these items neatly in a closet or storage pantry. Make more room for the things you use on a daily basis.
- Keep the things you always use within arm’s reach. Cooking items like spatula’s, spoons, and pots should always be easily accessible. Look out for items that take up a lot of space, such as unused coffee mugs and dishes.
- Clean up as you cook. When you’re cooking, clean up as you go along. Put extra leftovers immediately in the refrigerator, and clean your workspace before you sit down. Put items back in their place when you’ve finished using them. This will also make for fewer clean-ups after dinner!
- Utilize wall space. This may seem like an obvious way to de-clutter, but wall space is often underused! Look for where you can add shelves in the kitchen or bathroom to make cupboards and cabinets less cluttered.
- Organize with your kids. Take 20 minutes or so and go into your children’s bedroom. Get rid of old clothes that no longer fit and bag them up for donation. Too many unused toys? Get rid of those too. Do this every few months as your children grow, and you will find it easier to keep their rooms and other spaces clutter-free.
- Clean out the medicine cabinet. Are your bathroom cabinets filled with junk that has expired or is half empty? If you don’t have room for your bathroom items, you may find yourself shoving items anywhere, creating more clutter. Get rid of expired prescriptions, make-up and toiletries.
- Get rid of extra paper. If possible, try to use online bill-pay for your monthly bills to decrease the amount of paper you receive in the mail. Un-subscribe to junk mail and keep a folder in one place for important papers. Any paperwork that is not a necessity should be recycled or shredded.
- Use the one in, one out rule. Whenever you buy something new, remember that something old should go. Donate, sell or give it away to a friend.
- Store unused items in storage or in the basement. Do you really need to have 5 sets of dishes in your kitchen cabinets? How about those 20 pairs of sheets? Ask yourself, if I haven’t used it in 3 months; am I likely to use it anytime soon? While you needn’t throw these items away, you can store them away to create a more clutter free environment.
- Always think about donating your items to a charity. Pick one or two charitable organizations that are meaningful to you and it will be a lot easier to get rid of things you no longer need. Talk to your children about donating toys and clothes they no longer use, and remind them that they are helping out another family.
While de-cluttering and getting rid of things can sometimes be hard, the end result is always more fulfilling. Getting rid of clutter will help you to lead a more stress-free and happy life, so start today!
© 2011-2012 by Jacquie Ross, CastAway the Clutter! All Rights Reserved.
Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, certified life and family coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy mom/parent expert, Jacquie works with moms, families and busy professionals to clear their clutter, manage their time and run their households more effectively.