Monday, May 17, 2010


“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” ~ Wendell Berry, Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer
Yeah.  I’m there.  At least close to there.  In fact, I have a yard sale planned for the beginning of June and the wait is making me crazy. 
Seven years ago, this house seemed so big.  So empty.  Seven years, four kids, two cats, a garden, several hobbies, lots of camping gear, and one cow later, I can barely walk through some rooms.  The garage failed to hold vehicles long ago.  Now, one of the rooms in the basement houses lots of outgrown clothes and baby items.  ….and miscellaneous pots, pans, TV’s, books, the list goes on!  I thought about posting a picture, but….
It doesn’t seem possible that one family could have so much stuff.  Some of these things that clutter our home are needed or at least appreciated.  Some of them just add to the stress of cleaning and living in our home.  Now that I am past all the pregnancies and my babies are getting to a point where they can occasionally play for 20 minutes without needing my help, I am tackling the clutter that has been making me crazy.
Thought I’d share my favorite ideas and ask for you all to share some of your favorites.
100_6232 These are the kids’ laundry baskets.  Color coded, no less.  As I fold clothes, I drop their socks into the bottom of the baskets.  Then, I pile in the clean clothes and tote them upstairs.  From there, it’s the kids’ job to put things away and mate their socks.  Even the three year old can do it with a little help.  Then, the baskets are put at the top of the stairs.  The baskets also come in handy for “toy sweeps.”  I have the kids visit each room looking for anything that belongs to them and kindly take it to their room.
The kids each have a designated towel hook for their bath towel.  There is an extra hook in the middle, which makes the kids think we should get another baby.  Pretty sure that ship sailed with that fourth c-section!  Anyway, this saves me a ton of laundry.

Baby books are so hard to keep up with.  This basket has helped me bunches!  It’s easy to grab the whole basket and to veg-out on the swing or wherever and add a few things to each book.  The big envelopes are a great timesaver, too.  It is so nice to be able to slide little keepsakes, photos, pictures they draw, their weight and height from the latest doctor’s visit and birthday party invitations into their envelope and add them to the books later.
These cool storage bins are so nice for organizing meds.  I have one for injuries, filled with bandages and Neosporin.  The other tote is for sickness.  It holds meds for anything from a tummy ache to a sore throat.
100_6240When I needed some cheap, yet manly bookshelves for Eric’s office, I found these great gorilla racks.  Very rugged.  Very manly.  Very, very cheap.  Let’s hear it for SAM’S Club.

100_6242  Again, the gorilla racks come to the rescue!  I love buying in bulk.  It saves me trips to town with four kids age 6 and under.  This is very, very valuable.  This lovely gorilla rack allows me to see what I have, send the kids “shopping” in the basement, and easily put away my latest coupon/sale buying finds.

So, I hope you’ve found a few ideas you can use.  I’d love to hear the organization/de-cluttering ideas that work well for you.  I’m really struggling to keep the kids hand-me-downs organized.  Craft supplies get me in trouble, too.  So leave me a comment and share a tip or just complain about the mess that gives you headaches.  I love hearing from you!


  1. Erica may be the one to talk to for craft organization, but this is what I've done so far. I have a 3 drawer plastic thing on wheels that I used to have in my classroom. In top drawer I have construction paper and foam paper. Second drawer I have small craft items: googly eyes, sequins, glitter, pom-poms, bottle caps, glue sticks, foam stickers, toilet paper rolls etc. and in the bottom drawer are pipe cleaners, yarn, felt. I also have a bin (from big lots) where all the crayons are kept. I also have a bin for markers, and stickers and a location for scrap paper. The kids have to ask permission before they take anything out of the craft drawers, but can get the crayons, scrap paper or stickers whenever. I have a separate container for paint stuff that is kept on a high shelf;) and play doh is also kept up high. I still have a lot of organizing to do but for now it's working for us.

  2. Looks like I need you to come to my house! As far as storing hand me downs, I keep quilt bags and plastic totes *the quilt bags take up less space, but I dont buy a lot of quilts), I label the totes, summer, fall, etc and sizes. So when Em gets to a 10, I just pull out the quiltbag/tote and unload to her area. I give outgrown stuff to friends, so I get to see it worn again and I feel like someone that can use it gets it.

  3. craft orgainization, those clear vinyl shoe holders. they are large enough to hold a 48 count crayon box..... or as things live in my house or an old icing container filled with crayons whose box has long since been destroyed....... glues, ribbons, glitters.... all of those wonderful things that get so messed up. then the kiddos can see exactly what they want (or you can see what you "need" for a project) and get it out. easy peasy puddin and pie ;)

    Joanna (the one from the park)


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