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Does clutter creep up on you and your home? Before you know it all the kitchen counters, dresser tops and end tables are home to all kinds of miscellaneous family items. You even have to clear the dining room table to eat on it. Take back your home with these clutter control ideas to ensure you get rid of clutter in your home and it doesn't return...

1. Take some time to make a permanent home for items family members tend to "drop off" anywhere such as keys, book bags, coats, purses, gloves, umbrellas and more. Use wall hooks, peg racks, cubbies, over the door pocket organizers and more in your hall closet or foyer area where these items first enter. The few minutes you spend doing this can make a big difference in stopping clutter where it starts.

2. Put a shoe bench near the entryway where family members can take off and stash shoes conveniently. This will keep your floors cleaner too (meaning less housework for you).

3. Keep a decorative hamper, basket with a lid or even a storage ottoman in the family room for quick toy pickups prior to guests arrival or at the end of the evening. It's not necessary to sort every toy. Just stash it in there until it's ready to be used again tomorrow.

4. Sort through your mail on the way back from the mailbox. You naturally look at it then anyway many times, don't you? Immediately discard advertisements that don't interest you into the trash can or your personal shredder. Don't set them down for later.

5. When family members read the newspaper, have them lay it directly in a newspaper recycle basket. If other family members are interested in reading it, they can retrieve it and also return it to here. Make it a routine to drop the newspapers into a recycle bin either once a week on the way to work or school or when the newspapers fill the bin.

6. When you carry an item from one room to another, take something from that room to another. For instance, if you take wet towels to the laundry room from the bathroom bring back clean shirts from the dryer ready to go to hang in the bedroom closet.

7. Purge items regularly from your home. If your bookcase is full, don't put another book on it without pulling some off to donate. If you have small appliances collecting dust for two years in the kitchen, donate them. Donate clothes you have not worn in one or two years with the exception of rarely worn special items such as suits you might wear to weddings, funerals and other events. And even then you only need to keep a set amount if you have excess of these items.

8. When you buy new holiday ornaments, if you find your collection growing and growing (more than you can display at one time), donate some of the older ornaments still in good condition to thrift stores during the holiday season.

9. Get rid of excess and duplicates in your kitchen such as seven mixing bowls, five spatulas and ten frying pans. You don't have to keep just one but you don't need that many of each. Clean up will be easier too when family members realize they must wash the existing cooking utensil versus using every last one until none are clean and then washing them.


10. If you have a computer and printer, resist printing every email and web page of interest. Instead save an electronic copy in categorized electronic folders on your computer. You can purge these too annually if you find them growing excessively.

11. Monitor your impulse spending. A lot of items will catch your eye in the stores. But do you really need them all? Learn to live simple. If you don't know what's in your home without doing some digging, you might just have too much stuff.

Keep these simple tips in mind and remember that Silverline Systems is always available to provide free design consultations to help you with all your home organization and storage needs. Stop by the Silverline Design Center on Fairview Avenue, just East of Cloverdale in Boise today. Don't hesitate, let Silverline Systems help make your home a more soothing and organized place today. Less mess, less stress that is what Silverline Systems can do for you!

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