Admit it. Once you have kids your house is never clean. Well, as clean as you would like it anyway. This is a real struggle for me every single day. I’m not over compulsive when it comes to cleaning, but I don’t like clutter. It makes me feel overwhelmed and has been known to make me a little tetchy too.
Seeing everything in it’s place does bring me a sense of peace. But getting to this point requires a level of organizational skill that often escapes me and apparently everyone else in my household too.
We live in a very small farm house. A cosy 925 square feet to be exact. Space is limited. And the space we do have is shared between six of us (and one cat, two dogs and the occasional needy farm animal). Getting, and keeping organised, is a constant endeavor in our home. I am always on the look out for inspiring organisational tips from Moms who rock in this area, and who I secretly aspire to.
Ok, in truth I am slightly obsessed with those Moms who manage to keep their homes looking like something out of Home and Garden. Sitting here in my lounge watching my daughter train her favorite hen, Chubby, to jump (on my unforgiving living room carpet), it seems like a long way in the future. But until then, I rely on three small highly usable Clutter Control Rules that help me keep my sanity and keep the Clutter at bay.
1. The #1 Clutter Control Rule in our home is simply this: Everything MUST have a place.
Before I buy anything new, I need to know where its going to live in our home. Everything, from the dust pan to the dog brush, has to have a home.
2. The #2 Clutter Control Rule in our home is: If it doesn’t have a place. It has to go.
Every now and again, an item will be left lying around unclaimed and unpacked for a few days. My family knows – It’s only a matter of hours before it ends up in the charity box (which gets carted off once it’s full). Nothing spurs a child to pack away his/her things once they have to dig it out of here. We have had a few close calls.
These two little rules are fool proof and can be implemented by anyone – from kids to tool hoarding dads and overwhelmed Moms. They naturally limit clutter and unnecessary collecting of crap. But … there’s always a but, isn’t there? These rules only work if you stick to the #1 Rule: EVERYTHING needs a place. Finding it that place sometimes requires a little imagination.
3. The #3 Clutter Control Rule is Find and Fix your Clutter Problem areas.
Like with most things, its often only a few areas that are causing most of the problems. Fix these, and you will fix most of your Clutter concerns without having to undergo a major overhaul of your living space.
In our home, the areas that cause me the most anguish are the bathroom, entry way, paper collecting pile (don’t know what else to call it), and the kids rooms.
After hours of research aka Pinterest browsing and assessing our main ‘clutter problem areas’, these are the top 5 genius clutter busting ideas that I plan on using in our home this year. For a ton of other ideas by those Amazing moms I mentioned earlier, take a look at my Pinterest Board on Getting Organised. I’m not kidding when I say I am obsessed with the idea of getting organised.
1. Sorting School Stuff.
The secret to a smooth school morning routine is being able to find everything before the school bus arrives. A few months ago, I bought a set of ‘vintage’ factory lockers. I have them set up on the back porch. The kids keep everything school related in them. Bags, hats, shoes, jackets and all school books. No more tripping over school bags or losing that left school shoe. It has transformed our morning routine. It took about a week to train everyone to put their school stuff in their locker, but we got there.
2. Household Command Centre.
I still haven’t sorted out the school paperwork though. Notices, reply slips, newsletters. Agh. I’m looking at implementing a Household Command Centre this year to help us all stay on top of our schedules. Here is a gorgeous, clean design by Sass Interiors that doesn’t take up too much space and keeps everything handy.
3. Use Hooks. Everywhere.
I’m not kidding. Hooks are so easy to install and they transform an otherwise useless space into, well take a look:
Source Downright Simple
A Laundry Room.
A Drying Room / Towel Rail.
4. Shelves for the kids little things.
I love these super easy shelves by Diane on ‘Hometalk. These dollar store crates were attached to the wall to make easy shelving for a child’s room. Safe and lightweight. No worries about heavy shelves falling on kids either. Brilliant!
These really cute shelves are made out of plastic rain gutters. You can buy them in white or paint them any color you like and attach them directly to the wall. Beth from Sunshine on the Inside has put together a basic tutorial which you can watch (or get your hubby to watch) here.
5. Bathroom Shelving.
Our bathroom looks like a bomb hit it once the kids have been through it in the morning. Wet towels, Dirty Clothes, brushes, wet toothbrushes. Agh. If everything had a place, it would be a breeze to tidy up.
On my to do list to get this sorted, I plan on installing labeled hooks to hang wet towels. Everyone hangs his/her towel on his/her rail and shelves. You can never have enough shelves. I never even thought about using this little space above the bathroom door. Genius! (via My So-Called Home)
Here are a whole stack of ideas from Amber Oliver about how best to use that little space above the toilet.
Where are the Clutter Prone areas in your home?