How to Win the War on Clutter
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Where, oh where, did my tennis shoe go? Has this tune become your kid’s national anthem? Is living with their belongings strewn under the beds and between the sofa cushions causing you to attack and retreat? If so, the time has come to round up the forces and chart a new course. Surprisingly, winning the war on clutter is not as challenging as you might think.
Set ground rules. Mobilize the troops and lay down the law. Every item must have a home; discard old items to make room for new ones. If stuffed lions and tigers run rampant on your daughter’s bed, let her choose one or two favorites. The rest go to a non-profit where kids less fortunate appreciate well-loved pets.
Color code the kids. Crates, containers, and closet organizers come in a rainbow of colors. Go shopping for storage supplies and let them color code themselves. Red bins for fire trucks, puzzles, and color crayons; pink for Barbie dolls, swim fins, and dress-up clothes. Don’t forget desk organizers and hangers for their closets.
Bring on the fun. Make it easy for the kids to remember what goes where. Let them design their own labels. They can either write or draw a picture identifying contents. Attach labels to containers with clear packaging tape. Laundry bins go under a kid-sized basketball hoop; CDs are stored in holders resembling ladybugs.
Create a mini-museum. Stacks of paintings, drawings and paperwork stifle desks and homework space. Kids love to display their creativity. Frame a few pieces of favorite artwork and hang them up. Add a cork board to display birthday cards, postcards, buttons, and photos.
Once is not enough. Putting everything in its place goes a long way toward keeping a tidy household. Designate a “Clean Up” day once a month and your kids will develop good housekeeping habits that will serve them well - all the way into adulthood.
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