If your kids’ shoes pile up near the door or their toys are spilling out of the closet, you’re not alone. Andrea Wolf of Organize Detroit with NEAT (Need Everything Away and Tidy) organizing services in Huntington Woods notes that many of the families she works with have problems keeping kid zones clutter-free.
To combat the clutter, Wolf suggests that you forget about keeping everything neat – and, instead, find a place for your kid’s belongings that’s convenient, so they’ll actually use it. Here are her tips for three of the biggest culprits and how to get rid of clutter in each area.
1. Mud rooms. Skip the fancy shoe organizers, says Wolf. Instead, she recommends large fabric bins with each child’s name on it. Kids can put their coats, shoes, and backpacks right into these bins as they come in the door after school.
2. Kitchen counters. Kids tend to dump their school folders out when they get home. To organize this mess, Wolf advises setting up a magazine holder for each child and a separate magazine holder for schedules and directories. Kids should stash homework in these holders so it’s easy for them – and you – to see exactly what homework they have for that night. Ditto for the schedules. You won’t waste time searching the house for the soccer schedule if it has a designated spot in your home.
3. Toy rooms. Go through and get rid of the toys that your kids aren’t playing with anymore. Need some ideas for kids toy storage? Here’s an easy one: with the remaining toys, buy plastic bins to hold the toys and label the bins so that your kids know where to put their dolls/trucks/LEGOs when they’re done playing.
Have a few specific, bigger jobs to tackle when it comes to organizing your kid’s stuff? We’ve got additional tips for items like hair accessories, artwork and more.
What tips work best for you? Do you have any de-cluttering strategies you’d add to this list?
This post was originally published in 2010 and has been updated for 2017.