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A Family Guide to Decluttering the House

A growing family can mean a cluttered house, but it doesn't have to!

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
October 12, 2017

More people, more things. More things, more clutter. It's an equation as old as materialism. But don't worry, these six decluttering solutions should keep your mess in check.

How to Declutter the House

  1. Tame the Toys
  2. Stuffed Animal Chaos, Solved
  3. Create a Kids’ Art Book
  4. On-the-Go at Your Front Door
  5. Make Your Own Mud Room
  6. Mirror Message Board

Let's dive into each tip further.

1. Tame the Toys

Is your kid’s bedroom or playroom a tornado of toys and stuffed animals? If so, we hear you. Get a handle on the collection by purchasing a toy hammock: Hang it from one corner of the room, and toss in as many items as you can. Keep favorites near the top of the hammock pile for quick access.

2. Stuffed Animal Chaos, Solved

A roll of self-adhesive Velcro can be your best friend when it comes to storing and organizing your kid’s toys! Affix the rough, hooked side to a wall in your child’s room, and then cut up the soft side and affix to toys. You may even get your child to help you during clean-up time.

3. Create a Kids’ Art Book

Are your refrigerator, bulletin board, and various walls around the house covered in one-of-a-kind kid’s artwork? When it’s time to replace old pieces with new ones, compile them into a keepsake binder for storage, using large plastic sleeves that will hold bulkier textured work like macaroni, beaded, and sparkle art. Leave the binder on display in your living room so guests can view a retrospective of your child’s artwork—or store it safely in a box until your little Picasso has more to add.

4. On-the-Go at Your Front Door

The entryway of our house is guaranteed to be littered with accessories all year round: gloves, scarves, and hats in the wintertime; sunglasses, sunscreen, and baseball caps in the summertime; house keys, gum, iPods, and cell phones all the time. That’s why we love this easy idea for the foyer. Place a small galvanized tub or other container near the front door, and divide it into compartments using strips of cardboard or foam core—then stick your family’s go-to on-the-go items inside.

5. Make Your Own Mud Room

Need a designated area where you and your kids can remove dirty shoes and damp clothing before sullying up your carpet? Turn a walk-in closet near the front door into a mud room! Remove any items from the closet and install hooks on the walls that are reachable for small kids (if necessary). Place a large bin, several boxes, or a shoe rack on the floor, as well as shelves or containers for gloves and bags. If there’s no convenient closet near the entryway, consider placing an armoire in the area: You can hang hooks on the doors and use the shelves and drawers to store the stinky outerwear.

6. Mirror Message Board

Rather than purchase a bulletin board or whiteboard for your home, write messages to your family members on the mirror in your bathroom with dry-erase markers. The bathroom gets heavy foot traffic, so it’s a great place to keep notes and reminders for everyone in your family.

For everyday tips and lifehacks, tune in to the Who Knew podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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