A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE WITH KIDS
December school holidays are approaching at the speed of light and result in
kids spending more time at home and having friends over to play. This results in more
stuff being scattered around the home and can result in more clutter.
I thought it would be a good idea to focus on some practical tips on dealing
with clutter and introducing some order through clever and simple storage
This article by Susanna Bartree will hopefully help to tame the clutter monster!
USE A TRASH BAG
Step number one is getting rid of the OLD. Scoop up the broken toys into a black trash bag and get it out
before your kids know the difference. If they haven't complained enough already to make you fix it, they're not going
to miss it.
Next, gather up the toys they've outgrown and give them away. Local welfare organisations are a great place to donate nice,
used toys. If you can't stand to part with the memories, seal them in a box and store it far away. Take inventory of
what's left and decide on a clutter-taming game PLAN.
Now comes the question, should you include your kids in the give-away, pack-away, find-a-way to store it all exercise?
"Oh, gosh no!" says mother of three, Jennifer Christiansen. "I always make sure the kids are gone when I go through
their toys. Otherwise we'd never get rid of anything."
USE YOUR FURNITURE
Remember that most good storage is VERTICAL. You can't have too many bookcases to store books, videos, movies,
games, craft boxes, scrapbooks, photo albums, trophies, etc. High shelves mean you can store those toys you don't
want taken out at will (think paint supplies, pottery wheels, fancy dolls).
Another option is to use furniture that offers more than one use, which is important when space is limited.
At Starfish Décor we make great storage boxes which can multitask a s seat or just provide another surface for
items such as toys or books. They also come fitted with castors for easy moving around. Our heart bed also has
drawers underneath for easy storage. See our website for more info and pricing.
USE HIDDEN SPACES
Shoe POCKETS, what may be a home organizer's best friend should hang on the back of every available door. They
hold the obvious, like shoes and toy cars, and the not-so-obvious, like card collections and hair ribbons.
Another thing no home should be without are UNDER-THE-BED boxes. Martha Sanusi, a mother of four, uses them to
hold out-of-season clothes as well as Lego and Playmobile collections. Even better, Martha uses a bedsheet so that
each time her kids take the toys out to play they stay on the sheet. "When they are done playing," she explains, "the
sheet can be quickly refolded, with toys tucked inside, and stored back in the box."
Plastic stacking bins are great anywhere, but especially when they're out of sight in a closet. Mother of two Susan
Shane uses them to hold blocks and other small toy collections.
ON THE HOOK
Hang a line of sturdy hooks at eye level in your child's room to use for jackets, costumes, pajamas, etc. BACKPACK
hooks by the front door are a great time-saver and clutter-buster too. COATS are a lot easier to place on a hook in
the front hall than hang up in a closet.
IN THE BASKET
Baskets are great for so many things. Big or little, woven or plastic, expensive or cheap...they all perform the most
important job of holding our stuff. Susan stores her kids' small collections in baskets with handles that make it easy
for them to CARRY.
If things tend to collect in a certain area of your home, like the living room or stairs, consider having a basket there
for each member of the family. When you spy something out of place, simply toss it in the appropriate basket. Once
it's full, let the owner carry it off and put everything away. Minimize the visual clutter even more by buying baskets
GRIN AND BEAR IT
When all else fails, and the clutter monster still manages to get the best of you and yours, remind yourself that the
day will come when you will MISS the game pieces, fingerpaintings and dolly clothes scattered around. Really.