Too much clutter, 10 thoughts to simplify your household

Moms know that clutter can create havoc in a household. Too much stuff can make everything seem chaotic, overbearing and just a hassle. So, trying to remove all the extra stuff from our daily lives can help to make things a little easier.

Decluttering a house can be a huge chore. But if you break the process into several small steps, a lot can be accomplished. Maybe focus on one or two ideas every week. But the end of a month, you might see a huge improvement.

Here are 10 ideas to help you de-clutter your home

1. Give away an old toy when a new toy comes into your house
We all been there. Tons of toys in the house and then your child has a birthday party. Of course, there are lots of new presents for his birthday. One great idea is to have your child give an old toy to charity before they can play with one of their birthday toys. It's a simple way to keep the amount of toys in your house manageable.

2. Use lots of storage
No one wants toys, clothes, or anything just thrown around your house. Make sure that you have plenty of storage to put items away. Whether it's fancy or simple plastic tubs, keeping items in a controlled area can reduce the chaos.

3. Separate toys by function. Puzzles in one container, legos in another etc
Do you kids ever say - Mom I can find the Hot Wheels!  When all the toys are thrown in one giant bin, some toys can get lost to the bottom of the container. Why not use several different size containers to separate out all the different toys. With all the bins labeled with the contents, kids will be able to find their favorite toys easily.

4. Every night before bed all toys need to put into their home/container
Everyone knows the clean-up song. It's a staple in preschool classes. Why not use the same concept at home when the day comes to an end. Make sure that everyone helps to put all the toys away. No one wants to wake up in the morning and find a floor full of toys. A fun game of clean-up can become part of a nightly routine.

5 Keep outside outside not in the house
No mom wants to find a dirty soccer ball in her kitchen. Create an area in the garage or patio to keep all the outside toys. By keeping them out of the house, you will reduce the amount of extra stuff around. Plus, the kids won't be tempted to play ball near your dining room china.

6. Use file folders for important documents.
Do you have a filing system for documents?  How many times do you have to search for the field trip form or teacher form?  Keep a filing system with separate folders for all those important documents. These folders will allow you to quickly go through items that are needed for the week.

7. Put mail away. Don't let it pile up on the counter
Of course, this item is easier said that done. But if you sort your mail when it comes into your house, it will be less likely to pile up on the counter. We get a lot of junk mail. If I sort it as I come into the house, I can throw a lot of it away. Now there is less clutter on the counter and I won't misplace bills and other important mail items.

8. Keep a centralized calendar for all family related activities
If you have kids in lots of activities, a centralized family calendar is imperative. Don't keep all the pieces of paper with performances, school meetings, football games. Log each item into the calender and throw away the paper. Whether you use a mom wall calendar or an online version, make it accessible to everyone in the family. Now everyone will know where and when there is an activity.

9 Keep a storage bin by the closet for clothes the kids have out grown
How many times have the kids put on a pair of jeans and they have been too short?  I keep a container right by the closet and through the jeans into it. When the bin is full, I call a charitable organization to donate the items. You closet becomes less full and you don't have to search for clothes that fit on busy school mornings.

10. Use a shoe organizer.
One of my biggest pet peeves is shoes all over my kids' rooms. We have purchased a shoe rack for the boys' shoes. Every time they take off their shoes, it goes on the rack and not the floor. There are several type of shoe organizers available. Maybe one will work in your house to keep all those shoes organized and off the floor.

While these are my thoughts about streamlining my household, they may not work for you. One thing to remember is that in the end, don't sweat the small stuff. Playing with your kids and enjoying family time is so important. I would rather have a little mess in my house and happy kids.

What about you and your family?  Do you have any tips for de-cluttering your house?  Have you given up on a house perfect home until the kids get older?  Why not share your thoughts in the comments section.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to

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