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HOUSEHOLD CLUTTER CLEARING HELP

Clutter takes time and energy--to buy, bring home, clean, store, maintain, think about, and work to pay the bills for all of it. Clutter pulls us away from our priorities--our family and friends, our interests, our life...

Household clutter is depressing to look it. Many people are visual. They want their home to be a calm uncluttered haven that regenerates and restores them. Who wants their home to be a place that nags at them, creates anxiety or guilt, or wears them down? The clutter must go.

Ways to define clutter include: too much stuff, stuff that is disorganized (can't find something when you need it), and piles of unmade decisions that get pushed around the home.

By donating household goods to charity, a person could help the charity, reduce household clutter to make their home a more relaxing and restoring place, help others who in a down economy are in need of those household goods, and live green by donating rather than adding to a landfill.

Please see the tips below and click here if you wish to sign up for the  FREE monthly clutter clearing e-mail newsletter

Click here for helpful home organizing ideas.

Basic Clutter Clearing Choices:
• Get in the habit of tossing "extras" as you spy them in your daily rounds.

• Whittle away at small chunks of clutter--try one shelf per day. Or, use small blocks of time, perhaps 15 minutes per day.
 
• Take Barb's 21-day clutter control challenge: See if you can find something every day, as you move normally through your home, to put in your donation box. It will make weeding out into a daily habit.

• Weed clutter out (make those tough decisions) during your best time of day, whenever that is for you.
 
• Read anything on clutter by Don Aslett, author of "Clutter's Last Stand," "Do I Dust or Vacuum First?" and "Not for PackRats Only."
 INFORMATIONAL CLUTTER RESOURCES
On-line catalogs for organizing and household products that might be helpful:
• Clean Report,DonAslett 1-800-451-2402 www.cleanreport.com
• The Container Store 1-888-266-8246 www.containerstore.com
• Get Organized! 1-800-803-9400 www.shopgetorganized.com
• Stacks And Stacks 1-800-761-5222 www.stacksandstacks.com
• Lillian Vernon’ 1-800-901-9402 www.lillianvernon.com
• Jeff Campbell’s Clean Team 1-800-717-2532 www.thecleanteam.com
• Alternatives for Simple Living 1-800-821-6153 www.simpleliving.org
• Day-Timer 1-800-225-5005 www.daytimer.com
• Franklin Covey 1-800-819-1812 www.franklincovey.com

Items that help contain clutter:

General:

Entry way boot bench
• Baskets of all sorts--decorative and functional at the same time
• Hooks on walls, in closets, and behind doors
• Clear plastic containers to see contents or opaque containers labeled to read the contents
• Drawer dividers--consider homemade from 24-pack pop boxes cut-to-size for drawer depth
• Extra shelving, especially adjustable as needs, especially for kids, change
• Cabinets versus shelving because they reduce dust and hide “visual” clutter
• Plastic “milk” crates, assorted sizes
• Adding an “extra” shelf above the existing shelf in all closets
• Any closet system, stacking crates, or anything to use the “middle” space in closets
Kitchen:
• Spice racks--alphabetize spices to prevent duplicates and date for freshness
• Lazy Susans
• Under shelf baskets--they organize the dead space there
• Lid holders
• Drawer dividers
• Square versus round containers for less wasted space •Magnetic basket that attaches to the refrigerator for paperwork in process
Laundry:
• Laundry sorting baskets
• Cupboards for supplies
• Sorting and folding area
• Ironing area
• Designated areas for mending, unmatched socks, discards to be donated

For organizing kids:
• Plastic tackle boxes (less expensive than “official” craft and jewelry boxes with handles for portability).
• Shoe boxes and empty baby wet wipes containers for children’s socks or hosiery.
• Sewing boxes and tool boxes for jewelry, hair, or craft supplies.
• Cardboard boxes cut to size to make drawer dividers; 24-pack soda cartons work great!
• Plastic pencil pouches help separate and store crayons, markers, and colored pencils.
• Clear lidded shoe boxes store: toys with multiple components, like Mr. Potato Head, larger craft supplies, CDs...
• Mesh nets on hooks from the ceiling, or plastic “milk” crates hold stuffed animals.
• Folders organize plain drawing paper, construction paper, craft foam, and felt squares.
• Plastic dish pans store kid books in an upright position or store baby toys where baby can reach.
• Cloth drawstring bags store odd shaped sets of toys or soft toys.
• Wicker baskets or plastic laundry baskets hold dolls or stuffed animals.
• Closet hooks at kid height encourage kids to hang their coats and pajamas.
• Adjustable shelving on the walls uses the space between ceiling and floor to hold books, toys,...
• Closet systems, dressers in closets, or stacking “milk” crates reclaim “middle” space between closet floor and upper closet for more storage.
•Extra shelf above first closet shelf for off-season clothes, keepsakes, toy rotation box, infrequently used stuff.
WARNING--That is, please keep in mind:
  • Buying things will not organize your family but creating plans and new habits will.
  • Consider organizers you already have on hand or less expensive organizers first. Examples include shoe boxes or other cardboard boxes trimmed to size and covered with contact paper for drawer dividers, coffee cans for small action figures or crayons, and plastic bowls with lids for hair supplies.
  • Storage needs will change over time, so plan wisely before investing.
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Paper. Paper. Paper.

Sometimes I felt like I was drowning in paper. The "experts" said to handle each piece of paper only once. Hah! What really works? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

• Stop paper before it comes in the door. Stay off mailing lists.

• To remove yourself from junk mail lists, go to www.dmachoice.org and follow the instructions there.

• To stop receiving credit card offers by mail, call the Opt Out Request Line for Experion, Novus, Equifax, and TransUnion: 1-888-567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com.

• Weed out your mail while standing over the recycle bin or trash can.

• Don't bring paper into your house unless you are certain you really want to save it.

• Create a simple temporary filing system in the room that is the center of your home. For many of us, it is the kitchen. Whatever system you create, make it yours or you won't stick with it.

• Make filing a weekly habit-set the timer for thirty minutes.

• Learn how to weed out your existing paperwork. Set timer for ten minutes per day.

• Read: "File Don't Pile" by Pat Dorff and "How to Be Organized Inspite of Yourself" by Sunny Schlenger.
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Time. Time. Time. Limited Time.

My time is my life. How I spend my time is how I am spending my life. I had to pull the blinders off of my eyes. Does the way I spend time match the life priorities I give lip service to?

• Track your time.Keep a time log for at least a day, preferably two or three. How can you figure out where you want to go if you don't take a look at where you have really been?

• Learn to use small chunks of time. It is amazing what you can do in 5 to 15 minutes! • Plan to get up 30 minutes early or stay up an extra 30 minutes two or three times each week to whittle away at a specific project.

• Time management books fall into two categories. Some books teach time efficiency techniques that only work up to a point to cram more into each day. Other books teach time stretching/meditation/appreciation techniques that may provide more peace.

• Stop telemarketing calls from wasting your time by going to www.donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222.