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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

They say a little bit of clutter is indicative of a creative mind, but what happens when that clutter starts taking over the whole house? When chaos ensues, it is time for a little spring cleaning – out with the old, in with the new!

So, whether it’s the family home or a first apartment, if clutter has started taking over, it’s time to make a move. Here are some great tips for combatting the clutter and taking back control of one’s life.

Kill the clutter craving
Everyone has a weakness, and when there’s a house full of clutter, it usually means that someone might have an issue with impulse buying, or that they just can’t let go of certain items – shoes, housewares, magazines, and so on. Take a look around and try to identify what is piling up.  Writing out a list can help identify areas that need work – is there an excessive amount of books, for example? If so, make a conscientious effort to head to the library rather than the bookstore – or better yet, download an e-book. Shopping with a list can also help prevent clutter before it even happens!

Combating clutter creatively
Sometimes, there’s a build-up of clutter simply because there isn’t enough storage for a particular item – this usually happens in the home office, kitchen, and craft room. Storage doesn’t have to be boring – think creatively about it and it can make a huge difference! Instead of a traditional bookshelf, consider floating shelves strategically placed on the wall. Woven baskets also add a nice touch to most rooms – place them on top of cupboards and under consoles for textured storage that’s out of the way. In the bedroom, why not have customized wooden drawers made for under the bed. They are perfect for extra linens, winter clothes, and other bulky items.

Let the sun shine in
Letting more natural light into a room can help stave off clutter. No, the sun does not absorb the clutter, but seeing it more clearly can have an effect. Natural light can also brighten a room by making it seem bigger, so remove bulky drapes with tiebacks (they’re hard to clean, anyway) and replace them with some solid shutters. Shutters and blinds fit neatly into the window frame and allow for easy light control and add to the newly put-together look that a clutter-free home should have. It’s also a good idea to pain the walls with a nice neutral shade or a light blue or green to give the room a tranquil, clean look.

Give household items a new spin
There’s nothing wrong with using everyday household items for de-cluttering the home. Those small jewelry boxes that end up in the junk drawer?  Clip a few of them together to create neat divided storage for desk drawers ideal for pens, pencils, paper clips, and whatever else may be cluttering up a surface. Magnetic spice containers are also great for the home office – fill them with any small items that are easily lost but used frequently! In the craft room, use a freestanding paper towel holder to organize bolts of ribbon or multicolored tape. The possibilities are endless – just be creative!

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to kick the clutter.