Home Sweet…Clutter?

If the first thing you see when you step inside your house is clutter, it might not feel like “home sweet home” to you. If there are piles of shoes by the front door, coats on the floor, and you can barely see the top of your dining table anymore, you’re not alone. Even if you don’t have an entry closet (or have one that’s too small), consider the options below for common problems that drive people crazy when they get home.


Add a shoe rack, storage bench, or put shoes in bedroom closets if your home is particularly small and there’s just nowhere near the door for a piece of furniture. This might be the same scenario with your mail, keys, purse, and jackets that all end up on the dining table because they don’t have their own space. The good news is with these things you don’t need the floor or dining table space, just utilize your wall space! Search “mail organizer” on the internet to see all the stylish ways you can organize your mail. For jackets, backpacks, and purses, hang them on wall hooks. This includes smaller hooks for keys. A pretty bowl or basket for keys works just as well if you have somewhere to put it.


One issue I see a lot of parents dealing with is kids leaving their stuff all over the house. With very young children, there’s not much you can do because many of their things need to be within reach to keep them entertained, and toddlers are like mini tornadoes leaving nothing short of chaos in their wake. But with a few changes in routine, older children can help reduce clutter rather than adding to it. If your kids are at the ages where you’re beginning to teach responsibility or chores, try to implement a plan they don’t need you to help with.

Have them put their toys away when they’re done playing with them and they’ve moved on to playing with something else. You could try a rule of one or a few toys at a time, then clean up before moving onto the next. Another idea is leaving a storage cube or basket at the bottom of the stairs, or anywhere the kids frequently pass to get to their bedrooms or play area. As they come across something that belongs in their bedroom or play area, they put it in the basket. In the evening when playtime is over, have them take their storage bin to their room at bedtime. This makes your job a little easier, as it’s less for you to clean up when you could be spending your valuable alone time eating that pint of ice cream you’ve been thinking about all day. It also teaches them to be responsible for their belongings and stops you from stepping on those dreaded Legos.

I’ve known some parents to take their children’s toys when they leave them lying around and making them “earn” them back with chores or good behavior. I’m sure this certainly works for some families since there are kids who learn quickly when dealing with consequences rather than just rewards.  On the flip-side, you could offer a reward at the end of the week if they pick their things up every day until they’re in the habit. A movie, fun snack, or trip to the Dollar store for another useless toy they have to clean up (kidding). Every family is different, so think about ways that might work for your parenting style and child(ren) and try them out.


What you do about clutter depends on how you really feel about it. If you can tolerate it fairly well or find yourself using most of it, then you would benefit from more storage and organization for it. When everything has a place, there shouldn’t be too much clutter in your home. If you feel your house is bursting at the seams and you’re screaming to yourself “We have way too much stuff!”, then be honest with yourself and get rid of some things. Try de-cluttering one closet or one room at a time and in a few weeks (or months; no rush) you’ll feel better and be less stressed. Put an end to clutter and make your home welcoming again.

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