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Lifestyle
3 Tips to Stay Clutter Free with Kids
Think you can’t stay organized with children at home? Claire Hooper, who maintains a clean look in a 2,000 square-foot home—despite having a family of six—proves that there are simple ways to stay organized. Follow her three handy tips to keep your home neat and organized, so your family can relax and enjoy time together.
Written by Torrey Kim and Sarah Jane O'Keefe
Photography by Bret Gum
Create designated spots for certain activities to help kids contain their toys and supplies in one area. Designer Traci Flemming created this reading nook in her son’s room right next to his bunk bed using an oversized floor pillow. By having a little table beside it, she gives her son a specific spot to keep his books.

Tip 1: Get rid of things you don’t need. Whether you’re downsizing or simply trying to maintain an organized home, be sure you aren’t hanging on to toys, clothes or other formerly beloved items that you and your kids no longer use. Remaining clutter-free depends on only keeping the items that you actually use on a regular basis. For special items you wish to save, such as mementos for future family members, use plastic storage tubs to organize based on the year or child. Keep your attic, basement or garage neat by stacking the tubs on simple shelving with labels on the front of each tub.

Blogger Melaine Thomspon of My Sweet Savannah redid her son’s room with the goal of giving him more storage space for his many sports. Make sure your vessels make sense for what they are storing. This caged basket not only has a sportier feel, it’s easy to spot everything that’s inside.

Tip 2: Find a home for every item. Even if you don’t have built-in cabinetry, you and your children can find a place for everything by sorting all of your items and stowing them away on a daily basis. Pick up a few inexpensive bins or cabinets to house toys and other items to keep them off the floor. An organized home isn’t possible without proper storage. In smaller homes, use bookcases for more than just books by adding baskets and solid doors. If your bedrooms don’t offer the wall space necessary or you lack linen cabinets, line two short bookcases down your hallway. These will give a feeling of built-in storage and will be easily accessible. Use the top as a landing strip for keys, phone chargers and mail by setting out a bowl and letter basket. This will also be a great spot to display your children’s artwork and family photos.

Adi Edlen’s small Portland home was lacking in floor space so she opted for tall vertical storage solutions. Make sure your bookshelves are well styled and well curated. Stuffed shelves encourage more clutter and disorganization and don’t give you the motivation to keep it looking stylish.

Tip 3: Continually reorganize your drawers. Even if you’ve mastered your organizational skills, your job isn’t over yet. Check in on drawers and cabinets on a regular basis to ensure that you aren’t taking up space with items that are broken or that you no longer utilize. Items you may have felt worthy of saving a few months ago may be deemed worthy of the donation pile now. Keep your organized home fresh by filtering through the many items that come into your space.