Who said having kids meant having a messy home too?
And if you’re like me, you didn’t really need kids to be messy…it’s just your excuse. For my family, the biggest problem is all the clutter—all the junk that just builds up each day. Instead of fighting it—why not lean into it and find some middle ground between you and all the clutter?
I’m saying we just dump it all.
Into a basket that is. Or a bin if that’s your preference.
Then…when you actually have some time, sift through the bins. Just one at a time—don’t take on too much and get overwhelmed.
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Consider what you really NEED to hold on to, and what you can get rid of NOW.
Now, let’s start with all those toys.
When it comes to toys, it’s best to use a container that’s: 1) durable (because who knows what sticky residue will inevitably cover it) 2) will hide the mess well; and 3) is relatively cheap or washable (again, the stickiness).
- Target Round Fabric Gray Chevron Bin
- Collapsible Black and White Canvas Storage Basket
- Pottery Barn Metallic Woven Wool Storage
- Pottery Barn Gray Cotton Rope Storage
- Land of Nod Merchant Silver Hamper
- Spearmint Love Painted Dots Bin
Blankets and Pillows
Okay, so you might not consider blankets and pillows to be clutter… but if you’re a decor pillow junkie like me, these tend to build up FAST.
I love throw blankets and cushy pillows, but sometimes they can make a space feel a little too busy. Like Little House of Four points out, wire baskets are great for storing these items. Here’s a few favorites:
Random Papers / Junk Mail Clutter
This is what really gets to me… all the random papers that accumulate in our home! I highly recommend getting a shredder too (plus it’s fun!). We have this shredder and it gets the job done. And I love Domestic Ability’s solution to the paper shredder eye-sore: hide it in a basket! She also has some great tips on how to limit papers from consuming your home.
Fun baskets to hide paper shredders:
- West Elm Graphic Woven Medium Baskets
- World Market White and Natural Seagrass Tote Basket
- World Market Small Striped Seagrass Basket
For all those other papers that you have to keep— divide into two categories:
- Important papers that you RARELY have to add to or update (birth certificates, SS cards, mortgage, passports, etc)
- Papers you want accessible and / or that you will probably add to (manuals, coupons, recipes, catalogs, NECESSARY receipts, etc).
Take all the papers in the first category, grab an old binder and some plastic paper sleeves, store the papers in the plastic paper sleeves and tuck the binder away in a place you will REMEMBER.
With the second category, I go for a modified version of I Heart Organizing’s approach: a medium-sized box basket or bin that can fit file dividers – except I like the idea of one with a lid. Like this:
If you know that you can keep the paper files all neat and tidy, then by all means go for some of these:
And all those other papers? TOSS ‘EM.
One day, when I have my dream home, I’ll have a mud room with shelves and lockers and all the Joanna Gaines fixings.
But for now, shoes are my nemesis. I’m ALWAYS stumbling over them as I try to get out the door with my keys in one hand and the loaded car seat in the other.
Finally, a solution.
Wheels. That is, a basket on wheels. This is PERFECT when you have minimal space (like we do) to store shoes – just pile them up in the basket. And here’s the best part: you can wheel them away when guests come! So perfect.
- Williams Sonoma Nantucket Woven Seagrass Rectangular Bin on Wheels
- Pottery Barn Jacquelyne Recycling Bin Basket
The nice part about this solution is that you can even diy it! Just find a wooden crate you like and add on some casters.
If you’re worried about getting your husband’s dirty sneakers on your nice shoes, I like the tiered cart approach:
Kitchen Counter Clutter
Ah yes. All those bottles, spices and utensils we don’t put away because we know we will just be using them again soon anyways. But they take up space and look messy.
Here’s what’s worked for me: a shallow tray or basket to contain these kitchen stragglers. I was inspired by #15 (below) on Woo Home’s Top 21 Awesome Ideas to Clutter-Free Kitchen Countertops:
I got my basket tray from HomeGoods, but Target has some great options right now.
Now, maybe you can keep cute wire bins all nice and pretty like this – and if you can. I’d say for go it.
I know I can’t, so again here I’m going for something that can hide my junk while also being durable (because you never know when toothpaste will explode).
We all need a catch-all strategy for those random knick-knacks that accumulate and clutter up the home.
First, pick a place for home-base. For us the best spot is by the door where everyone comes in.
Next, get a small bin for each person and make that their space to toss all the junk they normally leave around the house: headphones, chargers, chapstick, pens, pads of paper…just whatever. Then, at the end of each week it’s their job to put away what’s in their bin.
With our tight space we stored our baskets on the wall, like #6 on Woo Home’s Top 21 Awesome Ideas to Clutter-Free Kitchen Countertops:
Now, don’t tell me that won’t take you more than an afternoon. Get your baskets and get ready to get organized. So hop to it!
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