Battling clutter, particularly once it’s had a chance to build up, is a daunting task. But even a small dent in the accumulation can make a big difference. Here are a few suggestions from de-cluttering experts Don Aslett and Alice Fulton to start you on your way to a clutter-free home.
• Condense your children’s clothes. Go through one drawer at a time and get rid of clothes your child never wears. Box up and label things you want to keep as hand-me-downs. Throw away clothing too worn to be useful, and offer wearable but unwanted items to charity or a consignment shop.
• “Bundle” outfits in advance. Package an entire outfit – top, bottom, socks – and fold it together. Younger children won’t have to dig around for something to match, and older kids can dress themselves while avoiding the “color blind tourist” look.
• Get it off the floor and box it up. Designate places for your children’s belongings ... off the floor. Low hooks for softball gloves, hats or jackets and a mesh net or lingerie bag on the shower bar for bath toys will do wonders. Also, put a “toy box” in each room in which your child has toys. You can use anything from a cardboard box to your great-grandmother’s cherry wood toy chest with hand-carved decorations. What matters is having an easy-to-reach place to put the toys.
• Keep refrigerator art current. When your child brings you a new piece of artwork, put it up immediately, and throw out the piece it’s replacing. Real masterpieces, of course, should go into a memory box.