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Keeping the house clean and organized can be an uphill battle for any mom. So in honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, we're hoping to provide some relief.
Mpls.St.Paul Home spoke with interior design expert Lisa Peck, owner and principal for LiLu Interiors, and tapped her for tips on keeping every strewn sock, soccer cleat, and school permission slip in place. "It's important to think about both basic storage and creating a space that your family wants to keep clean and organized," she says. "Moms spend a lot of time organizing. If you don't have to devote time daily or weekly to a pick-up battle, then you can spend more time on the things that you would like to prioritize, like spending time playing, taking bike rides, or helping with homework."
Now, we're not promising anything, but follow these tips and you may even have time to hit the spa . . .
Mpls.St.Paul Home: As an expert in the industry, and a mother yourself, what are some of the biggest organizational concerns you deal with on a day-to-day basis?
Lisa Peck: Having enough storage, and the right storage, in exactly the place you need it. Often rooms lack the built-in storage or closed storage needed to keep a home neat and visually peaceful. Also, if an organization system isn't easy to use, people just won't use it. Point-of-use storage is a great way to keep things organized and eliminate stress in your life. If your kids will only play in the family room, create appropriate, aesthetically pleasing storage there—not in a far away play room.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Before and after."][/caption]
MSP: That can be easier said than done. What do you suggest for moms who feel overwhelmed by the task of cleaning and organizing their home?
LP: Be ruthless and get rid of things that are no longer relevant. Sort things into must keep, can be sold at reuse store or garage sale, donate, and garbage piles. Once you have your piles, think about how and where the things you are keeping are used and store them in kid-friendly spots. Consider labeling storage spots with tags so kids have an easy-to-understand system. Also, enlist your children to help. Offer them cash for bringing things to Once Upon a Child or explain how a smaller child might be thrilled with a toy or clothing they haven't touched in the past year.
MSP: Speaking of kids, they are usually a source of disorganization in the home—the front door jam where kids drop their backpacks and shoes being one example. It's an inevitable problem, so how can we make that more organized?
LP: Kids won't use hangers, but hooks are great. Put a hook for backpacks and coats at a 5-year-old height and a 12-year-old height. A locker outside the back door or a built-in area with extra large cubbies is great for sports equipment. Ease of use equals actual use.
MSP: What about those mountains of permission slips and forms kids bring home from school? How can moms make it easy to know where the important forms are and access them hassel-free?
LP: I suggest having an organization desk in the mudroom. Don't let things that don't need to travel too far into your home. Create an "in" and "out" box for each person in your home right at the back door, or use a bulletin board divided into sections for each person so forms that need to be signed and sent back never get lost in a pile or with your household bills.
MSP: With all of these tips, it sounds like our readers have some shopping to do. What are your top must-have products for organized moms?
LP: Tackable magnetic wallcovering, file organizers for each person in your household (either built-in or portable), eye-pleasing bins, and a shredder.
Whew, time to hit the stores! Sounds like the perfect task for after the much-deserved pampering this Sunday. Happy Mother's Day!
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