Is your family’s clutter starting to drive you batty? These tips will help curtail family clutter and they’re easy to put into action.

Avoiding Hand-Me-Down Clutter

Do your kids get hand-me-downs from friends or family? If so, sort and edit them right away. Keep only those items your child will use or wear. Pass along the other things to someone else who will use them. Wash the keepers and sort by size into plastic bins or boxes. Label the bins and store in your child’s room. Before your next clothes or toy shopping trip, go through the box. Make a list of what your child needs, then, hit the malls!

organizing hand me downs

Keep Track of What No Longer Fits

If your kids are like mine, they grow like weeds! It seems one day something fits and suddenly, a week later it doesn’t. The problem is, you probably notice the clothes are too small when they’re on your child. By the time the clothes go through the wash you forget all about the fact they don’t fit. Try this. As soon as you notice your child’s pants are too small, get a safety pin and pin it to the pants’ label. When folding clothes after doing the wash, put anything with a safety pin on the label in a donations box. Keep the box wherever you fold clothes.

Set up a Clutter Bin

kids clutter bin

Are you always tripping over party favors and fast-food toys? Consider this system. Assign a basket to each family member. Keep the baskets on your home’s main floor. When you find small toys or other clutter strewn about, toss them into the basket. You (or your child) will be more inclined to pick up the clutter if you don’t have to hike to the bedroom. And your little ones will know where to find their stuff. Have each family member empty their bins regularly.

Establish a Toy “Jail”

A toy jail is a place where bad little toys go and live for an extended stay because they weren’t picked up! This is a superb idea for helping to motivate your little one’s to keep on top of toy pick up. Whether you establish a toy jail, penalty box or time out area, simply create a place where your children know their favorite toys will go and stay for a while if they aren’t picked up when asked. (This fabulous idea comes via reader Brooke. Thank you!)

Dealing with Kids’ Paperwork

If you’re buried in kids’ artwork and school papers, give this idea a try. Set up a bin or box to serve as your incubator. Then, whenever you’re on the fence about keeping something that comes home from school, simply drop it in your incubator. Once a period of time has passed and you’ve collected a healthy stack of artwork and finished assignments, sort through the papers. With the passage of time and the accumulation of papers, it will be easy to pull the treasures from the stack (and send the rest to the recycle bin.)

kids artwork binder inside

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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