Tired of seeing countless articles e v e r y w h e r e  shouting “Declutter for 2013…”?

If it’s too much to think about decluttering your entire home, try instead one quick and easy fix: establishing a dedicated,  common sense communications center. In no time you’ll surely feel  v e r y   c r e a t i v e   a n d   v e r y   o r g a n i z e d.

Communications center idea, via Houzz.comCommunications center using countertop and wall area, courtesy Houzz.comChalkboard communication, via Houzz.com

First, find the place – you know you already have one – where most of your family already tosses their daily “stuff.” Kitchen counter, perhaps? If this space doesn’t have a wall, use an area nearby that does. Completely clear away the clutter and clean the surfaces.

Second, place a basket for each member of the family (even your littlest ones!) and create a name tag for each. If your older kids will balk at this idea, give them a choice of decorative hooks for their backpacks, or keep their baskets in a cabinet underneath. The main point is to have one designated, organized center for everyone to use.

Third, create a message center on the wall above this designated area. Be creative: chalkboard in an antique frame, corkboard/foamboard covered with cork Contact paper, magnetic board, clipboards labeled “sign this now” or “coupons for the week” …  whatever fits your look. Include a calendar and writing tools. Post-its to write daily messages are good, too. Think about adding a docking station to charge cell phones.

Fourth, train your family to use only this center for their stuff. Experts say that one week of consistent, positive reinforcement usually works.You know what motivates your family, and the time spent will be worth it! Your goal here is to cut down on clutter scattered everywhere, kids forgetting where they’ve put things, late/unsigned school notices, etc.

When you’re looking for storage ideas, remember to stop by our store. MAI’s dealers have baskets and boxes and so much more waiting just for you.

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