See if this summer equation sounds familiar: summer days + kids at home more = more clutter around the house. Thankfully, iSpecialist Kathy Peel has a solution for that problem, and many more….
- Problem: You put away and throw away clutter on your weekly marathon cleaning day, yet the next day, your house is once again littered with toys, laundry, and papers.
Solution: Sometime after dinner, have a decluttering dash. Set a timer for seven to ten minutes. Put on some favorite energizing music and play “beat the clock.” Have everyone work at picking up misplaced items and returning them to where they belong before the buzzer sounds.
- Problem: Everyone in your family is a packrat.
Solution: Have a clutter-purging contest once a month. Put boxes or laundry baskets, one for each family member, in a central location. (Items to be given away go here.) Give each family member a plastic garbage bag and spend thirty minutes rounding up items to give or throw away. The person who gathers the most gets to pick where to eat out as a reward.
- Problem: You’re not sure how and where to store things for maximum efficiency.
Solution: Store items as close as possible to the space that are used most often. If you only iron when you’re touching up something to wear immediately, keep your iron and ironing board in your closet, not in your laundry room. Decide which cabinets and drawers are most easily accessible in your kitchen. Store items you use most there.
- Problem: Everyone is in the habit of leaving things out when they’re through with them.
Solution: Make your family motto “Put it up, not down.” Start encouraging family members to return everything they get out where it belongs. Designate a fine for people who leave items in places they don’t belong. Kids love this rule because they can make money when they catch Mom or Dad leaving things out.
- Problem: You never seem to have time to declutter and organize your storage areas.
Solution: Set a goal to finish one closet, cupboard, or storage area each week until you’ve worked your way through the house. During busy weeks, tackle something small like a medicine cabinet or shelf in your linen closet so you won’t lose momentum.
- Problem: Despite occasional attempts to clean it, you have an area of your house that has become a catchall area for art supplies, holiday decorations and office supplies.
Solution: Accept that you won’t have the time or inclination to keep every space in your home immaculate. Still it is worth making storage spaces functional. If you can’t find what you need in that closet, set aside time to remove everything and reorganize the contents in appropriately sized storage boxes and cabinets.
Last year, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, I was ready to get my Christmas on. But, when I pulled the old decorations down [...]