Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keeping the Clutter Out: Maintaining Clutter-Free Spaces

Most of the time, it seems like I am the only one committed to keeping our home clutter-free. The rest of the family doesn't like clutter (well, most of them don't), but it doesn't bother them to the point of going out of their way to put things away. I realized early on that I would have to make things easy to put away or I would be doing it alone.

Here are a few systems (besides what I mentioned yesterday) that help us to keep things in reasonable order--most of the time:

1. Dishes in drawers
Yes, clothes and sheets aren't the only things that go in drawers in our household. If I give a child the job of emptying the dishwasher or setting the table, I have to put the dishes where they can reach them. All three of my older children can reach everything they need to set the table and can unload and put away all those dishes as well.

2. Hooks for towels
I used to have towel rods in the bathroom for the kids to hang their towels on when they were done. (Yes, we reuse towels or I would be washing 6-8 towels a day which is an extra load a day. No, we do not reuse washcloths. Or underwear. Just wanted to be clear on that. :-) They didn't get hung up very often or if they did, I usually found them later in a heap on the floor. So I now have four hooks in the bathroom. The kids usually get them on there (well, my 5-month-old still needs a little help) which makes the bathroom look much better. Not "Better Homes and Gardens" better but "Functional" better.

3. An "as you" shelf
I liked reading Katie Hooper books as a kid. I don't think they are around anymore, but my daughter enjoys reading my old books. In one of the books, Katie's family made an "as you" shelf at the bottom of their steps for things to carry upstairs "as you go up". We have a shelf at the bottom of our steps already, so we have implemented this. If I find something out of place downstairs, I put it there and whomever it belongs to takes it up when they go.

Those are just a few ways we keep the clutter to a reasonable minimum---most of the time.

How about you? How do you keep clutter out?

To see how two others do it, visit Joanna @ The LaVans and Krista @ Borrowed Time Blogging.


  1. Love the advice! Look who won!!!

  2. We don't have an "as you" shelf (hadn't heard of it before.) However, I do the same thing on the 2nd or 3rd step from the bottom.

    Great ideas!!