If you have a large family, you know how easy and how quickly your home can go from spotless to cluttered. Having a large family means more toys, more clothes, more books and school supplies that can accumulate and leave the home looking cluttered.
However, just because you have a large family doesn’t mean your home has to be cluttered. The following are some tips for helping a large family deal with clutter:
Organize your entry area.
Often, the entryway accumulates the most clutter. Book bags get dropped off, coats get dropped, and purses pile up on the entry tables and floor. If you don’t have a closet in the front hall or entryway, consider installing hooks or pegs for hanging coats. You could also consider purchasing an entryway bench. Many of these have large storage trunks that you can house boots, book bags, and so forth, and are decorative and functional.
Keep a basket at the foot of the stairs.
In order to avoid clutter accumulating at the stairs, make a basket for things that need to be taken up to bedrooms, like bags and other items that collect downstairs. Make it one person’s job each day to distribute the items throughout the rooms.
Set aside time each day to tidy.
You should set aside a 10 or 15-minute period of time each day to de-clutter the house. Older kids in the family can each be assigned a room to pick up, or everyone can be responsible for going through the house and picking up their clutter and items and putting them away.
Organize your family room.
Areas where the entire family tends to congregate, such as family rooms, can be the messiest in the house. If toys are a problem, keep the majority of them in your kids’ bedrooms, and reserve just one bin of toys for the family room. Make sure your kids clean up all their toys before leaving the room. Keep baskets in the family room for items like remote controls or video games and controllers. Use a DVD or CD holder to organize your DVDs and prevent them from cluttering the area.
Keep the dishwasher unloaded.
Clutter in the kitchen tends to accumulate during and after meal times. One way to keep your sink from filling with dirty dishes is to keep the dishwasher unloaded throughout the day. Or, make sure it has been unloaded and clean dishes put away before meal times, so dirty dishes can go straight to the dishwasher instead of piling up in the sink. Keep a magnet on the dishwasher that says “Clean” or “Dirty”, so everyone will know to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
Organize laundry time.
With a large family, dirty clothes and towels can accumulate quickly. Make a schedule of days to do laundry, and teach older children how to use the washer and dryer. Use hampers in each person’s room, one for whites and one for darks, which will make doing laundry easier. (Note: With a large family, it’s easy to mix up whites like socks and underwear. When it comes to doing whites, stick with one person’s per load, or mix adult whites with kids whites, so they are not easily confused.) Try and do at least one load of laundry each day.
The above are some helpful tips for reducing clutter, even with a large family.