Do you have trouble with clutter? I think all homeschooling families have to deal with clutter at one point. With a family spending most of their time at home, it is bound to get messy. So how do you keep clutter from taking over? It's all about learning to let go.
I use to hoard every homeschooling book we had. Even when they were out of date or the kids had outgrown them, I thought we needed to hold on to them. It became a huge issue. We didn't have the storage room to keep so many books. So one day I decided it was time to let go. We went through each and every book we owned and if it was not being used or could be used in the future, it went to the local thrift store. This was so freeing that I decided to do this in every room of our house. From the kitchen to the bedrooms, if we didn't need it, it had to go.
This was the beginning of my divorce with clutter. I knew it was a problem but didn't realize how awesome it would be to clear away all the mess. What I realized most is that you don't just clear clutter one day a year, you have to constantly be aware that you have to let go of things that are no longer useful to you. It isn't always easy, but worth it in the end.
My rules for keeping clutter at bay are:
- If we haven't used it within 3 months (unless it is for holidays) we donate it or throw it away depending on what it is.
- When we buy a new item for our home, we discard two others. Like if we buy a new book for our homeschool library, we donate two of our books we no longer use to our local thrift store or book mobile.
- We have a place for everything. If there isn't room for it, we let it go.
- We go through our closets and dressers at least once every 3 months and donate/throw away what doesn't fit or isn't a regularly used item.
- If an item is broken, torn, or stained, we dispose of it. I use to keep things thinking we could repair it, but it usually sat on a shelf or in a drawer collecting dust.
- We have a time of clean up every day! Staying on top of our chores will help us keep organized.
- We have a basket that I use for clutter I find around the house that didn't get picked up during clean up time. I call it our clutter jail basket. In order for the owner to get their item back, they must complete a task from our chore jar. It is very effective :)
How do you conquer clutter in your homes? I would like to hear your ideas!