Clutter Busters: Simple Strategies For Cleaning Up Your Act

With of the biggest challenges couples and families face is CLUTTER, both dealing with it and avoiding it. But, according to experts, there’s really no need to stress over “mess”, especially if you learn how to clean up your act, BEFORE it gets out of control

1. Front and Center: Deal with items such as loose change, keys, mail, etc. right at the front door. Consider a console or nearby shelf on the wall on which to place things neatly and out of the way. And, don’t forget to sort mail immediately tossing anything you’d consider junk (though that doesn’t include bills).

2. Go Barefoot On The Parquet: Okay, one of my biggest pet peeves is taking shoes off at the front door. After all, if you’re visiting someone or attending a house party, shoes are part of the ESSENTIAL accessories that make and complete the outfit. Taking them off just makes the ensemble look, well, “silly”. Still, I’ll have to admit that for the “casual” get- together or on a daily basis, keeping the floors clean may not be such a great feat, if friends and family leave their shoes at the door and walk around in bare or stockingeed feet.

3. Book Ban: Get rid of old books and magazines that are piling up on the table, nightstand, or on the office or living room floor. Consider donating books to hospitals, hospices, nursing homes or to your local library. You can donate magazines to your local salon, doctor’s or dentist’s office. Organize books and magazines you intend to keep on shelves or in a smart magazine file.

4. Counter Countertop Clutter: Make it a “ritual” to clear off tabletops and countertops when you are finished using them or before you retire for the evening. And, don’t let things pile up. Also make sure to have a safe storage spot for remotes and think about getting a universal one to program most of your entertainment systems, limiting the confusion and the clutter.

5. Fun And Games: No doubt children want and need toys, but they certainly don’t need to have them “everywhere”. Make sure you clean up after really small children or help youngsters clean up after themselves. Have a designated play area in your home and a storage crate to hold the essentials… and think about color-coding each crate for each child.

6. Take A Load Off Doing The Laundry: Make sure everyone knows to put their clothes in a hamper (not on the floor) when they are dirty or when they take them off. And, make sure you separate whites, darks, and colors beforehand. Finally, consider doing a load of laundry in small increments, before each basket is full, to avoid laundry overload.

7. Learn To Bottle Things Up: Open bags can take up lots of space and simply look messy. Consider instead storing chips, nuts, etc. in pretty glass (or plastic) containers that can be moved from room to room, offer airtight storage, can easily be stored or displayed.

8. Stop Playing Hide And Seek With Your Hardware: Instead of rummaging through boxes, drawers, etc. for the necessary, nut, bolts and screwdrivers, consider investing in a pegboard. You can buy a sheet at your local hardware store and hang it on an “inconspicuous” wall, then purchase the accompanying accessories designed to help you organize.

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