Tag Archives: de-cluttering

Keeping the Clutter in Check

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Once you do a major de-clutter (or even a minor one), how do you keep the clutter in check? It is tough, since the stuff really does seem to reproduce itself, or should I say breed. I don’t remember ever buying that sock with the toes. Mutant DNA.

There is no way around it. Regular maintenance needs to be done. Clutter has to be busted before it can fully establish itself. That means that you have to scope out your spaces and conquer. For example, just now I looked away and when I looked back, a coffee cup had popped, mysteriously, on to my bedroom dresser. Ack.

What the coffee cup must come to realize, though, is now that the surface of that dresser has been cleared, it stands out like a sore thumb, um white mug. Just ask the small tube of hand creme that tried to infiltrate the flat surface of the kitchen pantry yesterday. Eventually, our stuff will get the message that clutter is not tolerated. Especially when certain items watch other certain items wind up in the trash or leave the house in donation boxes.

I’ve been a little lazy under the weather in the last few days, and the kids are battling one virus after another, so I’m having to push though with the clutter busting challenges. Still making good progress, though.

Here is my updated clutter busting list.

  • Master Bedroom Bedding (I even sewed a button on to our comforter cover–a bit of mental clutter solved)
  • Kids Puzzles and Workbooks (I somehow missed this when I did the toys earlier in the week)
  • Socks (All five of us plus the bag of single socks)
  • Utensils
  • Belts
  • Some photos (This will be a long project)
  • Children’s closets (3)
  • Flat surface two (Bedroom dresser)
  • Pots and pans
  • Small appliances
  • Flat surface 3 (Left kitchen pantry)
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • The Car (Hint for those in freezing weather: Grab a laundry basket. Make a mad dash to the car. Fill the laundry basket. Dash back in the house. Sort in the warmth of the living room. Oh, and don’t forget to wear shoes. Brr.)
  • One large food pantry
  • Magazines
  • Flat surface one (Produce bin)
  • Toys (one large contractor bag–whoo hoo)
  • Children’s books
  • Children’s videos
  • Adult Books
  • Cookbooks
  • Adult medicine cabinet
  • Children’s medicine cabinet

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Update to Clutter Busting

under the kitchen sink

Proof that we have too much stuff: finding something that you didn’t know you even had. For me, it was an enamel pasta pot, a little basket (tucked into the pot), and a thermos. You may be wondering… How the heck can you lose a pot? It was tucked under the kitchen sink, probably since the time we moved to this house almost six years ago.

Bonus reward: We have been wanting a thermos for the kids lunches but were reluctant to purchase one.  Hmm, I wonder if I do enough organizing a pizza stone will magically appear somewhere. Yeah, probably not.

I am determined to make progress, with your help. Here is a list of my clutter busting accomplishments this week, so far. The new accomplishments, since I last posted Clutter Busting, appear in bold.

How have you been doing in your de-cluttering efforts?

  • Flat surface two (Bedroom dresser)
  • Pots and pans
  • Small appliances
  • Flat surface 3 (Left kitchen pantry)
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • The Car (Hint for those in freezing weather: Grab a laundry basket. Make a mad dash to the car. Fill the laundry basket. Dash back in the house. Sort in the warmth of the living room. Oh, and don’t forget to wear shoes. Brr.)
  • One large food pantry
  • Magazines
  • Flat surface one (Produce bin)
  • Toys (one large contractor bag–whoo hoo)
  • Children’s books
  • Children’s videos
  • Adult Books
  • Cookbooks
  • Adult medicine cabinet
  • Children’s medicine cabinet

I also want to get back into the habit of practicing small kindnesses each day. Because I’m mostly isolated at home this week, the recipients were mainly school bus drivers and neighbors. Fortunately, that still got me through the week.

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Could Your Clutter Be Putting You at Risk?

A piece I wrote for Families.com

ClutterDon’t let your clutter control your life or your finances. Taking some time to de-clutter your home can not only be more freeing, but it could possible reduce your risk of going into debt. Here is why.

Clutter Can Be Overwhelming

When clutter gets out of control, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed means that you will have less focus and energy to live your life. Studies have shown that too much clutter may even contribute to depression.

With less focus and energy for work and life, plus possible “retail therapy” to lift the spirits, debt could quickly get out of control.

Quick Tip: To address your current clutter without becoming overwhelmed, spend just ten to 15 minutes a day on one particular area at a time, such as the kitchen counter, your child’s closet or your magazines. Document your accomplishments in a journal, by taking photos or online through a blog or forum to keep you motivated.

Buying More Space for Clutter

The more stuff that you own, the more space that it needs to live. Having extra stuff means that you might be led to purchase a larger home or pay a monthly fee for a storage facility.

Quick Tip: Avoid storing items for “someday.” You may find that you spend more to store the items that it would cost to replace them. Challenge yourself to live with less.

Clutter Breeds Clutter

People with well-organized generally spend less money for two strong reasons. The first is that they are purposeful about what they will bring into their homes, since they don’t want the clutter to spoil the comfort of a clean home. The second is that they are used to living with what they have and don’t need the latest and greatest to be happy.

Quick Tip: Once you have an area de-cluttered and organized, let us say your bookshelves, vow to keep that area well. Don’t bring home any additional books unless you part with an equal number to make space for the new arrivals. Chances are that you’ll choose not to make the new purchases after all.

Clutter Makes You Lose Things

An excess of stuff is hard to organize. That means that with clutter, you’ll probably wind up having to repurchase items that you can’t find. Anyone with six pairs of kitchen scissors knows what I mean. An even scarier risk is that you will become subject to late fees and penalties or enter serious financial trouble because you can’t locate important bills or financial notifications. You may even lose checks or gift cards in the clutter.

Quick Tip: Give things that are important or used often a place of honor, so that they become highly visible. For example, you might place all of your gift cards in a pretty box somewhere near the front door, so you can grab them on your way out to shopping.

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Clutter Busting

clutterClutter can cost you, both in time and in money. When we spend so much time taking care of stuff that we get little pleasure or accomplishment from, when we spend money to house items that we don’t need, we can’t soar in our lives. Those things creep in, usually slowly, and rob us of family time, financial security, and a sense of home as a haven.

Simplifying can be freeing.

Most of us have way too much stuff, too much clutter, so much that we would never be able to catalogue everything we own from memory. Yet, despite this, we tend to feel as though we constantly need more. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with owning things that we love, but what about the rest? Do we love the junk mail and school papers that accumulate on the kitchen counter, or the stack of books that we may read someday, or the clothes in the back of the closet that we never seem to want to wear?

Chances are, if you sit down with your computer or pencil and paper and start writing down what you own, being very specific, you’ll quickly find out which things that mean the most to you. The rest might just be too much.

In order to make room in our lives for the things that do fulfill us, we have to get rid of the things that serve as distractions. Clutter can hold us back.

I am by no means a master of this, this removing the excess from my life. In fact, I have a long way to go. I look forward to the day when we can look around at my home and really love everything that our eyes see.

Here is a list of my clutter busting accomplishments this week, so far.

  • One large food pantry
  • Magazines
  • Flat surface one
  • Toys (one large contractor bag–whoo hoo)
  • Children’s books
  • Children’s videos
  • Adult Books
  • Cookbooks
  • Adult medicine cabinet
  • Children’s medicine cabinet

Have you been getting rid of clutter? Please comment with your accomplishments. Do you have any questions about where to start? Post them as well.

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De-cluttering Toys

De-Cluttering Toys

Helpful Tip: When de-cluttering toys, remember to remove any batteries. Otherwise, a rogue toy may give you away. Oops.

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January 21, 2013 · 1:25 pm

Organizing and De-cluttering This Week

Organizing and De-cluttering This Week

The secret stash of books in my nightstand. Apparently, I’m worried about suffering that terrible fate of being trapped in my bed by a roving band of maurauders and having nothing to read.

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January 20, 2013 · 1:54 pm