Tackling your kid’s clutter

Starting with the baby shower, parents learn that when you have kids, the amount of stuff you accumulate continues to grow.  No matter what age your children are, their toys, clothes and homework assignments are often spread throughout your house. It doesn’t matter if you are living in a small New York City apartment or a single family home in the suburbs of Atlanta, families could use some help in managing their children’s items and getting their house organized.

If you are tired of stepping on Barbies and Legos on your way out the door, here are the six trouble spots that contribute to your kid’s clutter, courtesy of New York Family.

Toys

  • Chances are that between holidays and birthdays, your child has acquired a few too many toys. For most parents, it’s a constant struggle to figure out where to put them all. You and your kids should start by organizing toys into categories, such as games, dolls, and cars. Then, decide what’s never used, what’s simply broken, and what your kids have long outgrown. Decide which items you would like to donate or sell on eBay Classifieds.

Clothing

  • Every piece of clothing has a place, and as much as kids don’t like it, it’s not over the back of a chair or on the closet floor. If you’re using a dresser, consider cardboard separators inside the drawers to compartmentalize space. Store clothing that’s off-season in space bags or large plastic bins on wheels.

Closets

  • The average closet has a rod and a shelf, both of which are usually too high for kids to use easily. For parents who are willing to completely overhaul the space, Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers suggests the Elfa Kids’ Reach-In Closet kit, which can be added upon over the years. Another great option is over-the-door shelving, which takes advantage of typically unused space.

Athletic Equipment

  • Whether its rollerblades or tennis rackets, sporting goods can be awkward in size and take up valuable closet space. Baskets are a lightweight, eye-catching option for smaller items like balls, caps and gloves – not to mention easy for kids to simply reach inside.

Artwork

  • Artwork can be a big challenge given the volume of paintings and projects kids complete over the year. Try a clear under bed storage bin on wheels. Considering photographing less favorite artwork and make a keepsake photo album.

Photos

  • Most parents have more photos of their family than they know what to do with – whether they’re digital or the old-fashioned kind. When buying albums try photo sleeves made from polypropylene, which are specially made to preserve prints. If you use a digital camera, make sure your photos are stored on CDs, which will serve as a collection of “negatives” that can be printed.