Organization Hack: Clutter Control

Things are back to normal in my house today. The girls went back to school and my husband went back to work and all of the Christmas decorations are put away. I have the house all to myself again. As much as I love spending time together as a family and the time off to do whatever we want, I will admit that I am glad to get things back in order today. I thrive on a schedule and routine and being out of the norm makes me a little edgy.  I think I am way more productive and my brain works better when I am in my normal routine. I think my brain shuts down during the off days. Today everything feels right with the world for me

Moving on to the topic for the day…organization, the thing that makes me happy.  I just wish everyone else in my house felt the same way. I don’t know about you, but when any of my family members come into the house, they dump everything on the kitchen table or bar.  This includes jackets, hats, gloves, mail, lunchboxes, water bottles, and anything else you can think of. There it sits and piles up until I can’t stand it anymore. The majority of it needs to go upstairs but everyone is too lazy to carry it all up there.  I will admit that I am guilty of it sometimes, but most of the time the stuff isn’t mine.  Several years ago when my kids were younger and started doing this, I would just move the stuff to a few bottom steps hoping they would grab it on their way up. Well, of course, this didn’t work and it just piled up on the stairs and looked horrible. The house that we had at that time had the stairs visible right when you walked in the front door, so having a pile of junk on the bottom steps wasn’t acceptable to me.  I didn’t want that to be the first thing people saw when they came over. Then one day I got the brilliant idea to use baskets.  I went to Target and got 4 nice-looking, square baskets. I went home and made cute little nametags for each member of the family and tied them to the baskets with ribbon. Then I placed each basket on the end of alternating stairs. There was still plenty of room to walk up the stairs. My plan was to use these baskets to collect the things that were left behind down stairs in a controlled, more functional way.  Then each night when we went up to bed, all we had to do was to grab the basket instead of trying to balance multiple things in our hands. The plus side was that it looked neater and intentional when guest walked in the front door.  I will say that it was a successful project.  Of course everyone needed reminders to take their baskets up and empty them AND bring them back down, but it was a system that we could all live with. Really, it was a system that I could live with and they just indulged me. Ha ha!

We used this system for several years up until we moved to Georgia 3.5 years ago. That house was all one level so there were no stairs. Things still collected on the bar and table but it was much easier to get everyone to take just a few extra steps to their rooms vs climbing the stairs. Now we are back in a house with stairs and multiple levels. We have one staircase that is right when you come in the front door, but then we also have another staircase that is more hidden in the back of the house and it’s the one that everyone uses the most.  I noticed a couple of days ago that we are back to piling everything up again downstairs. When I started making piles on the floor next to the back staircase the other day, I realized it was time for the baskets to come back. Somehow one basket is missing since the move, though. I am guessing that it is in a box that hasn’t been unpacked yet as we are keeping some things still in boxes since were are moving again in a couple of months. I will let the missing one be mine for now. Hopefully it will turn up once we move. I’m crossing my fingers that this system will work again and will help control the clutter. We do have a third set of stairs that leads down into the basement. I may have to add a set of baskets on those stairs if things start piling up there too. I think I’ll wait on that one for now, though.

Anchored and Organized,

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