When the home is cluttered, the mind is cluttered, and no one feels their best! Use these easy, creative tips to get control of the “stuff” that can build up like a pressure on your chest, stopping you from enjoying your time in your home.

Children’s projects, crafts, and artwork
School projects create mini-mountains that can become impossible to navigate.  If you’re dreading another school year of managing treasures and not-so-much treasures, there are solutions that will keep you sane and stop overwhelm.

  • Take photos and discard the original

    • Create screen savers of the photos  on your computer

    • Group in digital frame, group by child, year, etc.

  • Use a piece (or photo of the piece) as decorative cover of three-ring binder or book cover

  • Use photo transfer cream to create a collage for a tablecloth, blanket, or pillow; by year, by child, etc.

  • Glue the favorite bits of various art projects to poster board to create a showpiece mat that surrounds an extra-special piece that will be framed.

  • Group artwork in files, by child and by month, and pick one favorite piece to keep every few months. It’s amazing how time and distance will soften our emotional attachment to these things. At the end of the year, photograph the special choices to preserve them.

  • Use the artwork in your home, as a permanent part of your room decor.

Knick-knacks and other small items:

  • Re-purpose as Christmas (or other holiday) ornaments/ decorations. All those little things you don’t want to dust, don’t want to see all the time, or worry about breaking, will become a happy moment to relive every year when brought out at holidays.

  • Group by type, if possible, take a group photo, and frame for hanging. There are many ways to get creative with this! Not sure? Share a picture on The Designer’s Eye Facebook Page, and I’ll answer any questions!

  • Place in a special keepsake box, assigned by type, by gift-giver, etc. to look through on occasion. Just be sure you control yourself and limit yourself to only one box!

  • Collect them all into a shadow box frame, well-sealed, so you don’t have to dust so often.

Artwork and furniture (especially inherited pieces) that no longer fit style, but have sentimental value

  • Take photos of them to preserve the memory in some way (see above)

  • Insert other artwork into the frame, in front of the piece. Gone, but still there.

  • Keep on wall and cover with larger canvas, so it sits behind.

  • Use any of the ideas above.

  • Reinvent your tired art into something that matches your style better, or gives it new life. See related article.

  • Create a special photo album (or digital album, even better!) for the inherited pieces, then remove them from your home.  Don’t let your things own you!


  • Frame special passages in books, or collect in a binder.

  • A photo of magazine articles is quicker than scanning.

  • Keep in mind that magazine articles seem to cycle through and repeat every year or so.

  • The internet is a great resource! Let it work for you. It is clutter-free. Really. You can let go of these pieces of paper once you’ve read them or made a “to read” list.

  • Make a list of the topics you want to remember to read about later. On a computer or in a journal.

  • I like to take pictures of the article, passage, etc. and either keep it in an album on my phone; or on another device. That gives me a digital copy I can read ( and re-read) later, at leisure.