Contain your clutter

So here’s our first post! We are so, so excited to start our blog, and we really hope you’ll enjoy it and give us feedback as often as you can. We hope to grow and learn right along with those who join us each day. So here goes…As moms who work outside the home, Jill and I both struggle trying to keep all the “stuff” around our house under control on a day-to-day basis. So, we created four simple things you could do over the next month to make your home feel a bit more like a haven.

1) Use baskets and buckets everywhere.

We all have areas of our house where everyday items pile up: shoes at the front door, books next to the bed, random things scattered up and down the stairs, etc. Place a stylish bucket or basket in those areas and pick one time a week to put everything away – otherwise, you’ll end up just letting it all stack up and spill out onto the floor.

Basket for shoes at the front door

Basket for shoes at the front door

2) Create a Mail Center.

Find an open space on your wall near your kitchen or mud room dedicated to organizing your mail and important school documents. Most home goods stores have inexpensive mail centers or magazine racks that hang on the wall – they range from $10 to $50. Not only will this help keep your counters paper-free, you’ll be able to find these documents a lot faster.

Wall mail center

Wall mail center right by garage entrance

3) Find furniture that doubles as storage.

Even though we spend the majority of our time in our kitchens and family rooms, most of us would rather not have those spaces completely covered with plastic toys and electronics all the time. So buy a few pieces of furniture that have plenty of storage space to hold toys, portable electronics, chargers, workout items, and game station accessories. You don’t even have to spend a ton of money on new furniture. Just scour garage sales, craigslist, or thrift stores for pieces with doors, drawers or lids. Then personalize them with a new paint job or fun new hardware. Our favorites are:

  • Trunks or ottomans with lids that double as coffee tables (this is an example from my own family room)
  • Entertainment hutches with doors across the bottom
  • Side tables with drawers that hold chargers when not in use
Coffee Table Organization

Coffee Table Organization

4) Have a designated “place” for everyday items.

It’s so frustrating when we’re ready to walk out the door, and we can’t find our keys, kid’s backpack, purse, sunglasses, or other must-have stuff. Create spots for the things you use every day, and commit to utilizing them. For instance, when you walk in from the garage…

  1. Immediately set your keys and sunglasses in a designated spot – this could be in a drawer or a hook on the mail center;
  2. Set your mail and other important documents in the mail center;
  3. Then place purses and backpacks in a convenient location, such as the hall closet or on hooks in the laundry room or mud room.

Incorporate these solutions into your house and daily routine, and you’ll notice a positive change in your stress and energy level. What are your clutter-free tips?