The Best Mom Hacks for Controlling Clutter

Kids can achieve mountain-like levels of stuff in no time at all. Smart planning and minute-long daily tasks will help you get and keep the clutter at bay.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
March 29, 2019

Photo By: Rebecca Zajac

Photo By: Sean Litchfield Photography

Photo By: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Eric Roth

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Photo By: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo By: Werner Straube

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Photo By: Phoebe Chuason

Photo By: Bruce Damonte

Photo By: Christine Farah Photography

Photo By: Dylan Chandler

Photo By: Sesha Smith

Pare Down

Kids' things, just like your laundry pile, multiply overnight. It's hard to maintain their bedrooms and playrooms when stuffed animals, toys and games are spilling out of every drawer, shelf and basket. Your best bet to curbing the clutter is to minimize, minimize, minimize. Start by donating toys that are no longer age appropriate or that they don't play with anymore.

Rotate Them Out

You may find that even after cleaning out bedrooms and playrooms, you're still left with an abundance of stuff. Limit the number of toys kids have at any given time by rotating. Set aside specific bins to house part of your kiddo's toys and stack those in the garage, attic or closet. Every few months, switch out the toys they've had with the stored ones. Not only does this feel like Christmas to them, but it simplifies the cleaning process for you throughout the year.

Everything Has a Place

Now that you've downsized, find a designated spot for everything. Organize similar items together in bins and baskets, on shelves and in cabinets or drawers. Try to place as much storage as possible on kids' level so they can easily help with cleanup time.

Realize the Power of a Label

Embrace your label maker. You may have an organizational system in place, but let's be honest: Your kids are not paying attention. Help them help you by labeling each container. If your kids aren't reading yet, print off a cute illustration to stick on the bin. Now, even the littlest of your kiddos can't say, "But, I don't know where it goes!"

Just a Minute

Make the one-minute rule a part of your daily life, and teach it to your kids. We heard about this ingenious idea from Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project." Basically, anything you can do in under a minute, do it right now. Place the book back on the shelf; hang your jacket by the door; put the crayons back in their box. This is one of our favorite tips of all time because its simplicity works and keeps clutter from piling up everywhere.

From: Genevieve Gorder

Back From School

Stacks of school papers grow quickly and become an overwhelming task to tackle. Save yourself the stress and deal with them every day. Empty backpacks each evening, and recycle all those worksheets. Display an awesome test score or creative artwork and deal with permission slips or school forms immediately. This 10-minute daily task will save you a major headache in the long run.

The Daily Essentials

Jackets, shoes, backpacks and lunchboxes are an everyday hassle. Instead of constantly tripping over these hazards by the door, design a solution that works for your home. Whether it's individual cubbies for each kid or simple handy hooks for jackets and backpacks or a basket for shoes, designating a spot for accessories is a win for you and the kids.

Out of Sight

Baskets help you easily stow away things quickly. No matter how young your kiddo is, he can help toss stuffed animals and action figures in them with very little effort. We love decorative baskets with lids since they truly hide all the clutter once they're closed.

A Reader's Paradise

Store books on picture ledges and create a miniature library that's functional and eye-catching. Kids can see which book they want to read without pulling them all off the shelves, instantly cutting down on mess.

No Wasted Space

Say goodbye, dust bunnies. We need this space for organizing. Under-the-bed rolling drawers don't take up extra real estate which make them smart storage solutions. Stow stuffed animals, games, shoes and out-of-season clothes out of sight.

Built in Style

Clutter-conscious moms maximize every nook and cranny of their kids' spaces. Here, clever built-ins around the bed provide ample places to stash books and favorite knick-knacks. Additionally, drawers under the bed provide an extra dose of storage.

Bedside Managed

This clever DIY project manages bedside clutter by taking it off the nightstand or the floor and putting it all in this handy organizer. Hooked on the headboard, the trio of pockets keeps books, journals and even lovies within reach.

Get the How-To: Achieve Bedside Organization With These DIY Book Pockets

Shelves of Storage

Open cubbies are your friend. They hold a multitude of toys and games, providing both open and closed storage options. Show off some of your kids' display-worthy toys and books, and then hide away the rest of the mess in cute bins.

Go Vertical

A loft bed adds tons of storage underneath without taking up additional floor space. Below this natural wood bed is a raw-edge bench that acts as a shelf and play area. A cozy rug makes it soft for little knees to have fun for hours on end.

Clean + Neat

Nightstands become the catchall for your kids' little trinkets, scribbles of super-adorable monsters and of course, stacks of books. This acrylic option has three levels to give each bedside necessity its own area. The weightlessness of the nightstand enhances the oh-so-tidy vibe you want.

Take the Play Up

We're all tired of stepping on tiny toys and LEGOs. Oh, the LEGOs. Opt for play tables that keep the chaos off the floor. This acrylic table allows kids to build their creations and leave them up to play with the next day. But, most importantly, it saves our feet.

The Low and High of It

Think about kids' height and put puzzles, toys and games where little hands can reach them. This low bench with pull-out bins has everything at their level and makes for easy cleanup. Use the upper cabinets to store things you want control over, like scissors, glue and the potentially disastrous glitter.

Incorporate Their Passions

If your kid has a specific hobby she loves, embrace it and the storage that goes along with it. It'll be sanity-saving in the end. This dreamy pink bedroom is home to two girls who love to craft up a storm. The solution: an entire crafting area complete with flat work surface and pegboard with organized jars of materials.

Shop This Look