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I think every person should get their own space and common areas have sanity rules. So just because you clean up the living room doesn't mean other people can dump their junk all over it! They have to put it back into their own area. If a space is yours you deserve to have it clean, not to be filled up with their junk!!

And yes in terms of them decluttering their OWN space, by them bins and shelves. Give them a half a chance of having somewhere to put their junk. And organize a charity run. Give each person a big box and say you're going to your local charity on Sunday. Tell them to dump stuff in the box to donate. It might give them some incentive ...


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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I really love the uncluttered look and I like our countertops and other surfaces free from junk with only some tasteful decorations there. I make it a point to clean up behind myself when I leave a room. The rest of my family aren't as neat as I am so I've had to find ways to deal with that for common areas of the house. If a family member clutters up a room, I ask them to take care of it but if they are gone and I can't wait, I put the junk into a laundry basket and deposit it in their rooms (or in my husband's "spot" in the bedroom or in his in-box). That way, they can deal with their own stuff. It's sort of like what BellaDeb does.

Isn't it amazing how clutter can occur so quickly? It can take only 5 minutes to trash a room!

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That is a great idea. My boyfriend has PILES of paper and bills in the living room next to where he sits and laptops. I get him plastic bins to put them in and then the bin overflows. He does in fact have an office upstairs but it is so full of junk you really can't walk in there at all.

So here's my new plan. There is a blank space on the wall to hold a shelving unit. I am going to get another shelving unit and put it up there. Then I am going to take his plastic bins of paper and put them on the shelves, and date them with when I put them up. I'll get him new plastic bins for by the living room. When they fill up I'll date them and put them on the shelves. Eventually the shelves will fill up and then I'll offer to him to shred the oldest bin. Obviously if he hasn't looked at it in say 3 years it can't have anything important in it ...

OK so step 1 is to get a shelving unit. I'll talk with him about that tonight.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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I hope your plan works for you, Lisa!

I think it can be particularly difficult to deal with children who are not neat. Sometimes you have to hang in there a long time. I have had to remind myself that letting them deal with their mess is the best way to resolve it. I would just keep putting their stuff in their room until it was unimaginably cluttered. Then, eventually, they can't stand it anymore and a cleaning takes place. I think it can often be the only way for a person to learn what happens when they don't attend to clutter. It's a valuable lesson.

My personal method of keeping things neat is to take the time to "complete" everything you do which means cleaning up behind yourself before you move on to a new activity.

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Well, I tried my bin idea and he said he would rather just file the things from here - so it's still a mess smile


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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I've gotten in the tidy-up mood (I go with it when it happens -- it's such a rare event!), and have filled bags to go to goodwill. Even managed to get dh to find some no longer used items that he can part with (such a tough thing for packrats like us!). Bit by bit, it is looking nicer -- and feels so good!

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That's wonderful news!! It's definitely important to celebrate even the small victories smile


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