Morphing and growing when you’re not looking, the space can quickly be taken over by backpacks, gym clothes, instruments, sports equipment, shoes, and now mittens, hats, coats, scarves and boots.
Fortunately, there is a cure.
Carolina Harvey, a professional organizer and owner of Harrisburg-based Cure the Clutter, has a few ideas to sort everything out.
“Each entryway depends on the person, depends on the family,” Harvey said. “It’s best to go with the flow of the family.”
If you have a mudroom or a closet close to the entry, the job will be easier. But if your catch-all spot is really far from the door, your family will need to adapt, she said.
The theory of “everything in its place” only works if that place is well-labeled or easy to get to, Harvey said.“Every family needs to make it easy and logical to follow,” she said.
A mudroom allows a dedicated space for shelves, hooks and baskets. If you have just a closet, assign a space for each person, Harvey said, giving every family member a labeled bin.
In the winter, a bin can corral gloves, hats, scarves and boots. In the summer, use it for swim goggles, flip-flops and ball caps.
“It doesn’t have to be a canvas bin, it could be a shoe box,” Harvey said, adding that plastic containers from the dollar store work as well.
“And it’s easy to clean out plastic,” she added.
Just be sure to measure your space before you shop so you know what size bins to look for.
If room is available, assign hooks or hangers, adapting a system to your space. Color code the area if that helps keep everyone organized.
When children are involved, give them a responsibility, Harvey said, such as making them keep their space tidy or cleaning the closet on a certain day.
“If kids are encouraged to participate, they will rise to the occasion,” Harvey said.
For exposed storage, hide the clutter with fabric.
“Make it softer, put a curtain on it,” Harvey said.
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