Decluttering the family home

Families attract stuff: school stuff, hobby stuff, memory stuff, work stuff and every other category of stuff you can imagine. It can be hard to try and keep all that stuff in order. Here are my three big ideas to help you gain control of your stuff.

Idea 1: The more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep under control

Well yes Captain Obvious, you may say. But the truth is the more things you have, the more storage you need to keep them under control and the more time you will spend tending to them. If the idea of a big decluttering session is too overwhelming, start small by gradually popping things you haven’t used in a while or no longer need in a box and dropping it off at Vinnies once it is full. Every box you donate is that much less clutter to worry about.

Idea 2: Everything must have a permanent home

Putting things away is much easier if things have a home to go back to. And this means you need enough space to put things away when you aren’t using them (see idea 1 if this isn’t the case in your home at the moment). It is also much easier to get the kids involved if they know what ‘packing up’ means. If you’ve ever seen four year olds pack up at preschool you’ll know that labelling and routines mean even the most reluctant of munchkins can put their toys away.

Idea 3: Don’t put it down, put it away

Horizontal surfaces cry out for you to put things on them. The mail on the kitchen counter as you get home, books on the bedside table you aren’t ready to read just yet, and a million others. A habit to try and get into is to put things away as you go. It takes the same amount of time to put something away as it does to find it a temporary home, so break the habit of dumping it somewhere and put it back in its permanent place. This habit alone will make a massive difference to the amount of clutter that accumulates around your home.