Household Hints and Tips

Bring order to your household with handy hints and timely tips to do everything faster and better.

Whether you need to clean house, cut clutter or get organized, these daily tips will help clean up life on the home front.

Cut Clutter: The "Hands Off" Policy

Psychologists tell us that when we handle an item, it increases our attachment--which causes a problem when considering whether to dispose of unneeded possessions. Try a "hands-off" policy: make declutter decisions without touching the item under scrutiny. Stay detached ... to cut the clutter!

Entryway Clutter? The Shoebag Solution

A hanging shoe bag--the kind with pockets for each shoe--does double duty when hung near the entryway. In winter, stuff mittens, hats and scarves into the pockets to keep them at hand. Summer sees sunblock, hats, sunglasses and pool passes ready to go. Cut entryway clutter!

Stay Focused With Checklists

Tackling household chores, it's easy to become distracted. Keep your focus--and finish the job faster--with a simple checklist. You'll build motivation as you check off each item--and keep yourself from drifting off-task. The fun ... is getting to done!

Getting Organized? Minutes Matter!

Tapping tiny slices of time can make an oversized contribution to clearing the to-do list. Grab small increments of waiting time to knock off small must-do items. Fold laundry during television commercials or address a greeting card while waiting to leave for an event.

Household Issue? Tackle It With A Tote

Plastic tool totes are timesaving partners in any organized home. Whether it's cleaning, gardening, mending or minor household repairs, tap a tote to store and transport tools and equipment needed for common tasks. Put-away is as simple as stashing the tote after the job is done.

Socks Solution: The Singles Bar

Still piling unmatched socks on the dryer--where they leap to the floor to be lost forever? Instead, set up a "singles bar" for unmatched socks: a small basket devoted to wayward single socks. Mount it under a shelf or on the wall near the dryer to help socks find their soul mate again.

Tackle Trash With A Daily Dash

Whether you think of it as Peter Walsh's "trash bag tango", or undertake Flylady's "27 fling boogie", a daily round with a trash bag makes short work of burgeoning clutter. Once a day, circle the house at top speed, gathering expired coupons, newspaper inserts, take-out food containers, empty packaging materials and other trash, then toss. It's an instant clutter-cutting boost!

Clutter Fighter: The Containment Principle

To limit collectible items like media, magazines or craft supplies, reach for the containment principle. Designate an appropriate container, shelf or cabinet for storage, then decide that you'll only keep as many items as the container will hold. When a new issue of Family Fun magazine arrives, remove the oldest issue from the magazine holder and recycle it--to keep clutter at bay!

Speed Clutter Decisions With The Yearly Rule

Clutter flows into our lives every day--from the mail or from the mall. Establishing clutter rules can help stem the tide by forcing a decision. One such principle: the Yearly Rule. Whether it's clothing, cookware or media, an item becomes clutter if it hasn't been used in the last year. Wear it, watch it or use it annually, or find it a new home!