As I write this, my living room is a disaster area of library books, assorted LEGO pieces, mislaid shoes and new school supplies that haven’t yet made it into backpacks for tomorrow’s first day of class.
And that’s just the chaos that two children can leave in their wake in a small apartment. I can only just imagine what goes on in Kate Gosselin‘s home. Not only does she have an entire house there for the cluttering, she also has eight children who all come equipped with the usual school, toy and clothing supplies.
But as a mom of so many, she knows the importance of staying ahead of the mess. She shares her best organization tips in her Coupon Cabin blog this week.
So how does she keep the kids’ stuff from accumulating? After all, in addition to schoolwork, “even the lunch boxes, book bags, jackets and shoes can instantly clutter my clutter-free home!” Kate writes.
The solution? A post-school put-away routine. As soon as Cara, Mady, Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel and Leah come home, they put their shoes into a bin near the front door. Then they change out of their school uniforms and put the clothes into the laundry room. School papers, homework assignments and lunch boxes go onto designated spots on the kitchen counter, and finally, backpacks and coats go on their proper hooks. “In 15 minutes, with just a few reminders, the house is back to its clutter-free status. Ahhhhh!”
Here are some more of Kate’s organizing tips:
Hate facing a desk piled high with unsorted mail? Do what Kate does and don’t let the mail accumulate in the first place. She goes through the letters as soon as they come in, shreds the junk, puts the bills in one place on her desk and the rest in a “look at later” spot. Anything in the “later” pile that is still there in a week gets recycled.
To keep track of all the doctors’ appointments, to-do errands and deadlines on her schedule, Kate keeps a running calendar on her iPhone; the Notes app is useful for listing chores. “By listing everything in an orderly fashion, it gets done and eases my mind once it’s written down,” she explains. It also gives her a feeling of satisfaction to delete each item as it’s completed.
“I take it one step further and keep specific store lists on my phone and faithfully add items to the correct lists as we run low or out of them,” says Kate. So when the Gosselins make plans to go shopping on a certain day, all she has to do is check her list for that particular store, and she’s good to go.
Surprisingly, the one section of the house where organization isn’t a priority is the kids’ bedrooms. “While I do feel that they have to be kept orderly, that is their own personal space so that’s probably the area that I give in the most on,” she says. But she does lay down one rule: If the clutter gets out of control, Mom won’t come in and chill with them until the kids pick up.
What tips do you have for keeping your house from turning into Chaos Central?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
And don’t miss a post! Follow Shana on Twitter!
Don’t miss the latest from Famecrawler – like our Facebook page!
More on Babble: