Friday, August 29, 2008

Best Tips for Conquering Clutter

That's the theme over at Heart of the Matter today. I'm something of an organization junkie (not a cleaning person - that's a whole 'nother story!). We, a family of 5, live in a tiny house. Not tiny compared to a mansion - actually tiny. Think less than 1,000 square feet. Think the type of house our great-grandparents probably lived in. (Unless your great-grandparents were super wealthy, in which case: move along.) Here's how we manage:

1. Always keep a bag going for donations. Several organizations (Vietnam Veterans and the Lupus Foundation to name two) will pick up donations. When you come across something in your cabinets or whatever just send it straight to this bag. Don't look at it again. Don't even think about it again.

2. Shelves are our friends. Homeschoolers have BOOKS. Books need shelves, lots of shelves.

3. Plastic notebooks are our friends. Homeschoolers have PAPERS. Papers need notebooks and folders. We have a notebook for each subject. Every worksheet, every project paper gets hole-punched and placed in the correct notebook. At the end of the year I pare down papers and place everything in one large 2" or 3" notebook. This is for our year end assessment, as required by our state law.

4. Kids need to be able to put their own things away. Our girls' drawers are under their bed so they can put away their own laundry. They have baskets for their socks, under-roos, etc. Even the baby (18 months old!) can put away her own laundry with just the tiniest bit of help (pulling out the basket & pushing it back). We have hooks for them to hang up their sweaters, hats, purses, etc.

5. Use your walls. Use them for shelves, bulletin boards, magnet boards, hanging baskets or whatever. Using your walls will help keep you from climbing your walls. Which is a good thing, as Martha would say.


Tammy said...

I like the idea of the plastic notebooks - I may have to employ that one in our home.

We also are big "shelf" people - bookcases all over the place in our home!

Celly B said...

I love notebooks, too, especially if they have page protectors! I love the idea of having a designated area for donations! Thanks for sharing.

mom said...

What a blessing to have a baby who is a helper! All my babies seemed to be of the "dumper" variety...anything that could possibly be emptied definitely was! LOL!

I love your ideas and I actually think that if you live in small spaces you are forced to live a life with LOTS LESS clutter which is a very good thing indeed :-)

Tammy ~@~
Garden Glimpses

Karabeth said...

I read this one when it was first posted but was pleasantly surprised to see my daughter's name and blog mentioned over at Heart of the Matter.

Way to go!

Mrs. Cuddles said...

Great post! I agree with the shelves for all those books.

Have a wonderful weekend,
...another mom living in a small space for the number in our family.

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