Cleaning the Clutter – It’s a Family Matter


Free-Clipart-of-HouseBby Emilie Barnes, 101 Ways to Clean the Clutter

It’s a Family Matter

Involve the whole family. Learn to delegate jobs and responsibilities to other members of the family. Work with the children to de-clutter their bedrooms and bath. Dad can also be a big help, especially when you begin to clear out all the unused stuff in the garage. Set a date for a cleaning bonanza and purchase all the cleaning supplies in advance.

As a surprise for your family cleaning day, purchase a fun organizational tool for each family member—one that suits their individual personality. Or plan a relay cleaning day. Designate several projects that need to be done and assign a person to each task. Set a timer for 30 minutes and start working. When the buzzer sounds, each family member rotates to a different chore station.

This plan keeps the energy high and nobody becomes bored. Allow your family members to choose the background music for the work day and promise them pizza when everything is done. You could also reward the hard workers with a movie night and a walk-through tour to see how the rooms look with their makeover.


Labels Are Helpful

Use lots of labels and signs. If containers, bins, drawers, and shelves aren’t labeled, the family won’t be able to spot where things go. Use color coding to help identify items belonging to various members of the family; red bins for Christine, blue for Chad, and yellow for Bevan.

Keep your family involved in the process of simplifying the home life. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much they flourish in an uncluttered environment. Give your kids cleaning responsibilities at every age so that they get used to the benefits. Keep the tasks age-appropriate and be sure to acknowledge them for their efforts. Most of all, model the behavior yourself.


You will achieve grand dreams, a day at a time, so set goals for each day—not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow.   -OG MANDINO


A Place for Everything
Without too much detective work, we can figure out that most clutter happens because there isn’t a set “home” for each item. Remember the old saying, “Everything has a place and everything is in its place.” When everything has a place, you know where to find it, where to put it back, and you don’t waste time searching through items to retrieve it.

Designate an easily accessible spot for your most used items. If those spots are filled with infrequently used items, clear them out and move them to storage (after you see if there is anything you can give away). Choose a room and spend 30 minutes assigning a place for each item that fills the corners, clutters the surface areas, and blocks doorways.

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