Home, Home On The Range
A primary cause of clutter? It's the homeless...mail, toys, or newspapers. Without a home, common household items wander, lose their way, meet up with bad companions and make the transition to clutter.
Establish good homes for your stuff. Newspapers may be folded and stacked on a coffee table before being read, then given shelter in a box while they await recycling. Devote prime domestic real estate to use as a launch pad for each family member: a location for purses, school papers, back packs and briefcases. Give paperwork proper files so it never has to huddle in lonely stacks on kitchen counters.
With a home to go to, good stuff will never become bad clutter.
Establish Clutter Preserves
There's no such thing as clutter-free living. Even the tidiest among us still tosses clothing on floors from time to time.
Accept reality by establishing dedicated clutter preserves. Like wildlife preserves, these are limited areas where clutter may live freely, so long as it stays within boundaries. In a bedroom, one chair becomes the clutter preserve. Clothing may be thrown with abandon, so long as it's thrown on the chair.
A kitchen junk drawer can house vitamin bottles, rubber bands, clipped recipes, expired coupons and shopping receipts unwelcome outside their clutter preserve.
Children may use a flat-bottomed plastic laundry basket to corral stray playthings in bedroom or family room. A large magazine bucket in the living room is fair game for catalogs and magazines, so long as they can fit inside the bucket.