Cleaning Tips Indoors & Out

Declutter the Family Room

Keep the center of family life clear of an explosion of clutter.

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Clutter Central DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley LimitedBefore

Divide and Conquer

Clutter is like chickenpox: It spreads from person to person with only casual contact. One person's ongoing craft project becomes authorization for the next guy to spread his stuff out, too. How to control family room clutter? With a family STOP clutter session. The communal nature of the room means that any clutter solution will require everyone's cooperation. By agreeing to divide and conquer, a STOP clutter session can attack problem areas simultaneously.

Tips to Organize Family Rooms

Try these tips to make the most of storage space in shared spaces and family rooms:

  • Contain clutter. Practice containment policies to keep clutter under control. Store the week's newspapers in a low-sided metal tray; a knitting project in a wicker basket.
  • Practice "cart and carry." Establish a policy that, while family members are welcome to do homework, work on crafts or play with toys in the family room, their supplies must be carted and carried. Plastic laundry baskets, shopping bags or flat-bottomed dishpans can be used to bring out the playthings and collect them at the close of the evening, for return to the bedroom.
  • Sweep it clean! Take time during the day for a "sweep." During a pause in a television program, announce that it's time for a sweep, and ask all family members to pick up out-of-place items and put them away. Quick! The show will be back on the air in just minutes!

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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