Between dog walks, school runs, work commitments and life in general, it can be difficult to stay on top of the inevitable clutter that builds up in a family home over time. When day-to-day life involves tackling the mound of dog toys, reading books, kids’ gadgets and everything else, where do you possibly find the time to create and maintain an organized and harmonious living space?
Here, our friends from toy company Foamë are providing a “how-to” guide to achieving a clutter-free family home – helping you stay sane while keeping your home in order!
Give everything a home
One of the main causes of clutter in the home is not having a place to put things – so start by going through your rooms and ensuring everything has a home. Once the kids know the shoes live in the cupboard under the stairs and your other half knows the keys belong on the hook by the door, implementing some kind of order should be easier – although we’re not promising miracles!
It will take a while for your family to get used to the organization, especially if you’ve previously been fairly lax with where things go in your home, but this is a great step in the right direction if you want to create a more minimalist aesthetic while still maintaining that “lived in” feeling. You’ll soon find yourself getting rid of things that don’t logically fit in anywhere, as well as uncovering things you had forgotten you had – so this is the perfect time for a whole house clean out.
Get savvy with storage
This follows on nicely from our last point. If you’re going to give as many items as possible a home, you’re going to need to get serious – and savvy – with storage. If you’re not blessed with an abundance of space, this might actually work in your favour, as there will be fewer areas to clog up with your family’s clutter. However, it does mean you’ll need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to storage.
It might not feel like it initially, but there will definitely be areas of your home that you could utilise more effectively. This could be a food trolley between that small gap between the fridge and work bench, meaning you no longer have to leave bread and eggs out on the counter, or installing some overhead shelving to keep spices organised and out of reach. Start viewing your lack of space with storage in mind and the ideas will come.
Get the whole family involved
Especially for families with children, clutter is inevitable. Children change their minds about which toys they simply cannot live without on an almost daily basis – and for you, this means a home overrun with once-loved teddies and discarded building blocks. If you’re able to designate pet and kid-centric areas like a corner of a kitchen or an entire playroom, great. If not, don’t worry, you’ll just need to set some rules.
From a daily vacuum to clear up dog hair to the kids having to put one set of toys away before getting out another, you might find that introducing some new ways of allowing children, adults and animals to cohabit could make your life a whole lot easier – not to mention more organized.
Learn to love systems
Whether it’s the way you prepare dinner or the day you choose to clean, if you can learn to love systems you’ll be onto a winner. Without a little organization, it’s all too easy to skip the weekly bedding change or convince yourself there’s no need to hoover the playroom.
For any family, laundry can seem to be a never-ending ordeal, with the washing basket filling up faster than you’re able to empty it. Time to introduce a system! This will be dependent on what works for you, but whether you give each member of the household their own basket and laundry day or you only wash work and school uniforms on a weekend, find a structure that works for your family and stick to it.
Buy one, give one away
Decluttering doesn’t necessarily have to mean stopping buying things – you’ll just need to alter your mindset if you’re serious about trimming back on the things that are clogging up your home. With this in mind, you could consider selling or giving something away every time you buy something new. This could be donating an item of clothing to your local charity shop or selling your old smartphone online once your new one arrives.
This works for replacement items, too. If you’re a self-confessed hoarder, you’ll be all too familiar with the temptation to store an item that still technically works in the back of a cupboard for a rainy day. It’s time to shake the habit! For example, if you’re buying a new kettle because yours is old, make sure you immediately dispose of your old one. Getting into this routine will stop you from clogging up your home with things you know you’ll realistically never use again.
If you’re ready to banish clutter from your home, we hope this guide gives you plenty of inspiration to get started. The real key is finding what works for your home and family and then sticking with the systems you’ve put in place. Good luck!