Reducing Clutter as a Team

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Don’t you hate not knowing where something is because you have too much stuff? Everyone in the house expects mom to know where everything is, too. Maybe it’s time to reduce the clutter in your home and have a place for everything. You need to get the whole family involved, though. Follow these simple steps to reducing clutter as a family.

  • Take stock of your space. Look at the flow of your home and see where everything lands. Have a recycling bin for junk mail near where the mail gets dropped. Make a command center where coats, purses, backpacks, and important papers are all stored. Give everyone their own color/bin to store their things.
  • Create clutter-busting routines. Let everyone know what you expect from them. When they come home, coats and bags are to be hung on their designated hook. Shoes should be placed neatly in their cubby. Make sure everyone does it as they enter the home, no matter what. Make it easily accessible for even your youngest clutter buster.
  • When you buy a new pot or dish, remove an old one from the mix. Get the kids in the habit of doing this with their toys as well. One in one out.
  • Rent instead of buy everything. You don’t need to steam clean the carpet every day. This is something you do a few times a year. Renting a steam cleaner instead of buying one will save you money and space. If you don’t need to use something frequently, then consider hiring out for it or just renting the item when you need it.
  • Learn to let go. Set a number of how many items of something you need. How many sweaters do you need? How many coffee mugs could you possibly need? Figure out why you’re hanging on to some of these items. Do you think you’ll fit into that blouse again? Did your Great Aunt Sally give you that teapot? Is it really worth it to hang on to it?

When you do purge stuff, make your decisions quickly. Do you love it; do you use it every day/frequently; can you live without it? Then put it in a toss, donate, or keep pile and move on.

  • Make it fun. Figure out what motivates everyone in the family. If you do a good job as a family of getting rid of clutter, then plan something fun – a special family outing or dinner, perhaps. You need to get everyone to change their habits for the decluttering to work. Don’t expect to just buy some cute storage bins and have it all fall into place.

You might need to have chore charts and calendars as reminders. Make a family chore jar. Every night all toys and shoes and backpacks are put away, a quarter gets put in the jar. Once the jar is full, plan to do a special family event with the money.

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  • If you still find yourself picking up after everyone, then make a ransom box. Everyone can get their items back, but only after they do a special chore. It might be something as simple as giving mom a hug or as difficult as washing the car. No one knows what they are going to get, but the chore must be completed before they can retrieve their items out of the ransom box. This should help everyone to change their habits. Do it right the first time and you don’t have to do these added chores.

Follow these tips and you slowly will get the clutter out of your home. But remember, the clutter didn’t show up overnight, and chances are you won’t get rid of it overnight. Take it one day at a time. Your family will eventually see the benefits – especially when they can get out of the house with both gloves instead of just one because they know right where they put their gloves.

What are your tips for reducing clutter as a family?

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