It is time to look at clutter in the space where the family gathers the most.
However you refer to this space, it is usually the room that attracts the greatest amount of family clutter. Like the kitchen, paper is a challenge although here the challenge is usually with magazines and newspaper. A simple solution is to have an attractive basket or magazine rack to hold this reading material and to at least twice a week toss the newspapers even if they haven’t been read. After two days it is old news anyway! Make a practice of sharing your old magazines with a doctor’s office or hospital or simply recycle monthly. Creating a routine for this to happen will be the immediate challenge but will make a lasting difference.
Toys, glasses and miscellaneous items are the next challenge. Having an attractive and easy to manage receptacle for the toys makes all the difference in getting them put away right away. A minimalist approach of not having too many toys also helps the process. Weed out the toys that the children don’t play with on a regular basis and recycle them to others. Have a time twice a day in which they are put away – it could be at nap time and then again before dad comes home or before bedtime.
Develop a habit for family to take glasses and/or cans immediately to the kitchen for recycling or to be washed. Better yet, you might consider allowing eating or drinking in the family room only on special occasions. Every home and family is different, so what is important is to find the routine that works for you.
For all those miscellaneous items that seem to appear it helps to have a basket in the corner of the room for easy pick up and return to their proper place in the home. Scheduling this at least twice a day or picking up as you go are good ideas so that managing the clutter doesn’t become a huge chore. At the end of each day, try to make it the last thing you do before turning off the lights. It helps to make those busy mornings more pleasant.
What are your favorite ways for staying on top of clutter? Share your ideas in the comments below.