To keep your house perpetually tidy, you have to wage – and win – a constant battle with clutter. From nail clippers to extension cords to wrapping paper, you own lots of odds and ends that, although you don’t need on a daily basis, you do need to keep in your collection of belongings.
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When these gadgets and gizmos join together, they can form quite the formidable army. If you find yourself struggling to stand your ground and keep your clutter securely in its place, try out these simple (and cheap!) organization tips.
Junk Drawer Caddy
Start your battle by infiltrating the capital of Junklandia, the junk drawer. Purchase some ice cube trays or a drawer organizer intended for utensils and put it to use in this place, keeping everything, from your adhesive bandages to your impressive collection of permanent markers, in order.
Turn your baubles and beads into works of art, and make them infinitely easier to access as you try to grab them with your bleary early morning eyes.
Purchase an old frame at the thrift store and take out whatever painting or picture fills it. Stretch strips of wire across the center of the frame and secure them with tacks to create rows of taut wire. Hang your necklaces, earrings or bracelets on these levels. Place this utilitarian work of art in your bathroom or above your dresser.
Clutter Catcher Bins
Standing up to the besieging forces of the clutter army is even more difficult when you feel like members of your family are fighting for the other side. Don’t let a civil war ensue. Instead, buy some bins that fit in the bottom of your closet or up against the wall in your mudroom.
Label each with the name of a family member. Whenever you come across clutter that belongs to someone else, toss it in the appropriate bin. Make cleaning out the bins part of the weekly chore rotation to ensure that this clutter doesn’t build up.
Transform your linen closet into a rainbow wonderland and make laundry organization infinitely easier. Assign each member of your family a set color for towels and sheets. When you sort it out, figuring out what goes where will be infinitely easier.
If you have multiple children of the same gender who are close to the same age, consider color coding other oft-confused items, like underwear, as well.
Establish A Recharging Station
The plethora of electronics present in most homes substantially increases the manpower of the clutter forces. Tame the cords that tangle and trip by setting up a recharging station. Purchase a used or inexpensive new end table that features a drawer. Drill holes in the underside or back of the drawer and feed your cords into it. Place it against a wall and plug all of your cords in.
Set up a new rule – you can charge whatever you need to charge, but removing any of the cords from this set-up will be considered an act of treason. As an added bonus, being forced to leave electronics charging will increase the amount of time your kids and cell phone-obsessed husband spend actually socializing.
Beat The Bills
Don’t let your bills stake a claim to valuable counter space. Instead, purchase an accordion file in which to house them. Label the pockets with months and place your bills into the file as soon as they arrive. Once a month, pull this file out, pay your bills and tuck them back away.
This not only tidies your space, but it also keeps your bills out of sight and out of mind, which can reduce the number of hours you spend unnecessarily obsessing over household finances.
Keep A Carry-Out Catalog
If your family loves ordering in Chinese or having sushi delivered to the door, your space is most likely rich in menus. Gather these tattered and soy sauce-stained items together and place them all in one binder.
To increase the organizational benefits of this binder – and save some cash – purchase baseball card pockets that feature three-ring holes pre-punched, and load these up with coupons to your favorite places, giving your family members no excuse for paying full price.
Establish A Family Piggy Bank
Coins and cash can clutter your space just as easily as items you purchase with this currency. Turn errant dollars and quarters into real money. Buy a piggy bank or jar and keep it in one centralized location – your laundry room is a great choice.
Any time you find money, place it in this collection receptacle. Get your family excited about it by setting a goal and doing something awesome when you reach it.