Home and Garden

Reduce Clutter With What You Already Have

clutter Clutter? Yes, I have it. With two kids and a mother living with me, I have enough clutter to last me the rest of my life. But, what to do with it? Is it worth keeping or should I toss it all? That remains the question that we’ll examine today.

One of the reasons we end up with clutter is because we don’t have room for it all, or we don’t know how to store it, or we don’t know how to get rid of it. At least, that’s my case. I’ve been trying to figure out better ways to contain the things we own that I know I do want to keep. It’s not been as easy as I think it should be.

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Don’t buy new unless you have to

Rather than buying new things to contain or organize with, I’ve tried to figure out what I can use that I already own. This will solve three problems – I will have saved money, I will not have brought a new item into the house and I will have found a place to store items.

I’ve concentrated on one area of one room at a time. My cabinets have been the first, along with my bedroom/office space. Some organizers will say to pull everything out and sort it into piles. Other organizers will say to create lists. I think it depends on how visual of a person you are.

Using the list method; Make a list of the items you need to store. Most likely there will be a variety of things. Some will be big or bulky like clothing or stuffed toys. Others will be smaller and easier to store. Sort the items by size and kind so you can store like items together.


Storing Small Parts

trays Glass jars are a great item to store smaller items. Placing buttons in a glass jar, tying a pretty ribbon on it and putting it on a shelf near your sewing area is a great way to store the buttons and have something nice to look at. Having the buttons in the glass jar will also help you find the right button the next time you need one.

Let’s face it – nuts, bolts, nails and screws simply are not attractive to most people. You can use the same idea as with the buttons, but use a pretty label to cover what is inside. Place the jar on a shelf to organize small items and keep them handy. Baby food jars are particularly good for organizing smaller things like this.

Another thing you may have too many of is ice trays. You can easily spray paint these, and use them to store and sort small items like buttons, nails, or even your small jewelry.

Storing papers, magazines, ect.

Do your kids eat cereal? Those boxes are great for storing papers without paying the ridiculous price for a magazine box! Simply, cut the corner off with a craft knife and cover each box with pretty wrapping paper or spray paint it. Use the covered boxes to store magazines, instruction manuals or warrantee information. Larger boxes, like old suitcases may not even need to be covered. You can store items in the suitcases and stack them next to the couch or chair to use as an end table. No one ever needs to be the wiser.

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Wood and Baskets need updates

baskets Old furniture? If it’s the cheap kind that’s not made so well, you can pretty easily throw a coat of paint on it to update it. Or, use some of the sticky paper used to line shelves with. I did this on a big piece of plywood to use as a desk top once. It worked out really well!

I hate baskets. They are the bane of my home making existence. They never match in size or color and just seem to create the worst clutter. But, it has come to my attention recently that I could wash them off, give them a coat of spray paint to coordinate with a room and then use to hold things like washcloths or towels in the bathroom.

I just bought two cans of spray paint in colors that coordinate with what is already being used in my office area – blue and green. I’m going to pain some photo boxes that I’ve been using for a couple of years now. The boxes have a silly print on them that has nothing to do with my decor and just creates more visual clutter. However, the rain has to stop so I can go outside and spray!

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Now that you’ve been given some ideas, please go see what you have on hand to help you gather and store your stuff. Then, keep on top of it. Cutter isn’t built in a day (unless you have kids).

How are you getting organized?

I'm Jenn Alex, a single mom , part time Business and Personal Coach, website designer, and style writer. You'll usually find me writing about fashion, working from home, or special needs kids and the parents who care for them.

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