Sign up

Defeat The Clutter Beast

Is your home suffering from a bad case of clutter? Would you love to get on top of the mess, but don’t know where to get started? Clutter is  stressful. It eats up your time, hides your valuable possessions and grinds on your nerves. But, clutter can be tamed. Use these simple tips to conquer the clutter dragon and feel better about your personal space.


It is best to get on top of this clutter quickly. As any parent knows, it grows at an astounding rate.

Label small plastic bins by category: Princess, dinosaurs, cars. It is simply much easier to help a small child learn to clean up if they know that each toy has a clear and proper home. The label helps kids learn to read and sorting by category is an early math skill.

Shelving in the closet or under the bed are perfect hideaways for bins. Small bin storage makes toy rotation easy for a little playtime variety. Bins are perfect for so many situations, too. Going to Grandma’s house? Take a bin with you. Have a baby or toddler? Keep bins with small items closed off with a lid and stored on a high shelf.

An over-the-door shoe organizer is yet another perfect way to keep track of a child’s treasures.

Hair accessories in a tangled mess? A piece of yarn hung on a wall is a perfect keeping place for a little girl’s hairclips, ribbons and doo-dads.

A wooden shoe shelf makes for a nice home for puzzles, games and books.

Inexpensive, plastic rain gutters hung on the walls of your child’s room make for a good book display. Books can face outward with their covers visible, making it easier for kids to select titles. Keeping colorful picture books here can be appealing to the eye and add to the décor of the room.

School Work

After admiring your child’s school work, it helps to have a fast and simple way of filing it away. A magnet clip on the refrigerator can hold a few papers at the same time.

Pinning a laundry line against your child’s bedroom wall allows for easy display of more artwork. Rotation of artwork is effortless with this method. Use yarn, ribbon or a string, rather than a heavy laundry line. Don’t forget the clothes pins.

The final stop for artwork would be a bin labeled with your child’s grade level. It is easy to forget the date as years pass. At the end of a school year, be sure to review each bin and toss some of the less valuable items.

Taking a picture of a project is a good way to record it for your kids. A scrapbook full of pictures of childhood artwork is a perfect graduation gift.

Have a particularly amazing piece of work? Invest in a simple frame and hang on a wall. Nothing would make a child prouder.


Sports equipment – A set of school lockers is a good way to store skates, balls and knee pads.

Hooks -
Hang up bikes from the ceiling. Shovels, brooms and mops can hang on a wall hook. Anything can be stored on a hook, including skis, ladders, backpacks, and leaf blowers. Use your imagination.

Bins - Use colored bins to store holiday decorations. A red bin is great for Christmas and an orange bin can be used for Halloween.

Shelving - Keep those bins at eye level with some good shelving. Invest in an office labeller, rather than writing on a bin with a marker. Labels can be peeled off and re-used. Sometimes, labeling a shelf instead of a bin can be helpful.

Clutter invades everyone’s home. It sneaks in and takes over sometimes without our even being completely aware. However, clutter doesn’t have to win! There are easy ways to free up space and bring order back to your living space.

Michele taught elementary school for 10 years before turning in her chalkboard to stay at home with her young daughters. She is a strong advocate of community among mothers and spends much of her time running mother support groups.

Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2024 Calgary’s Child