Cutting Through the Clutter
"Messes drive me nuts!" says Bryan. "I need stuff to be put away, or I can't relax." Toward that goal, he and Jenny have placed baskets throughout the house that they stockpile with staples (such as diapers and wipes) and other baby gear. They bought three large toy containers to keep the living room neat and make a point of donating playthings to a church thrift store as soon as a bin starts to overflow.
Organizing the kids' clothing isn't so easy. They only have room for two dressers -- one for the girls, one for the boys -- and there's simply too much stuff to fit inside them. "I have to literally shove their clothing into the drawers," says Jenny, "and the dressers are so crowded it makes things tough to find." It's also hard to keep track of who wears what. Then there's her thrice-weekly laundry nightmare: sorting endless pairs of tiny toddler socks.
How to do it better: If they can't add another dresser, the Masches need to edit the amount of clothing they keep in the drawers. Tomlin suggests they keep a plastic container next to the dressers for storing items that are either getting small or aren't right for the season. Once it's full, they can give that pile away to charity.