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A quick guide to organise family clutter (and keep it gone)

A quick guide to organise family clutter (and keep it gone)

This quick guide to organise family clutter is part of our quick guide to life series. Short, sharp advice that tackles the pain points of parenting.

Organise family clutter

Clutter scratches at my mind. I’m not a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination, but without clear horizontal surfaces, I go a little crazy. Luckily I’m a very neat and organised kind of person — or at the very least, I’m good at faking that I am. However, many times I’ve wondered if I’m simply spending time organising clutter.

RELATED: A quick guide to organise daily family life


Every time I feel like life is getting out-of-control and I’m cranky and twitchy, my natural instinct is to throw shit out. Hot tip: you know it’s time for a good clean out when you start to refer to your things as shit.

Here’s the thing: clutter comes back if you keep buying it. So try not to buy it. Oh boy.

Quick guide to organise family clutter



Have a place for things that don’t belong in your home. A basket by the front door is a good idea, but a drawer, shelf, box or bag works just as well. Inside goes all the stuff that other people leave at your place. Anything  you want to recycle or donate. Library books. Clear out the basket once a week by returning everything to where it belongs (ie. not in your house!)


1. The best organising system in the world won’t work if you don’t use it.

2. Get rid of things entirely, don’t just move things around to look more organised. Don’t organise clutter.


1. Don’t buy clutter in the first place.

2. Have a daily routine for keeping on top of it.

3. Recycle as much as you can.


1. Arrange to have your bills emailed, not mailed.

2. Put a basket outside each of your kids’ rooms – this is the place to put anything that belongs to them that you find hanging about the house.

3. Shop your pantry and freezer this week – don’t buy any groceries except fruit and veggies.

4. Make your bed.


1. Zen Habits: The Minimalist’s Guide to Fighting (and Beating) Clutter Entropy

2. The Art of Simple: The Powerful Difference Between Organising and Decluttering

3. Unclutterer: Strategies For Seeing Clutter

4. Zen Habits: Love Life, Not Stuff

5. Slow Your Home: D is for Decluttering: A-Z of Simple Living

What do you find most difficult about keeping on top of clutter?