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Mar 19, 2009

Remove Clutter From Your Home

When you walk in the door, do you feel as if you're walking in a mine field, and that you have to tiptoe around boxes, or just plain junk? You cannot clean because of the clutter, so you just add more. It might be time for you to remove the clutter, and enjoy a tidy home.

Bring home three big boxes from your grocery store. Mark each box with magic marker: one Keep, one Sale, and one Charity. Also get a large, lined garbage can into which you can throw things that you don't want to keep, sell, or donate.Set a time limit for the session, say 15 minutes to one hour. Set a timer, and don't start more than you can finish in your allotted time. When the timer rings, make yourself stop, clean up, and then take at least a 15-minute break so you don't burn out. You can always decide to do another round after the break is over. Make three piles on the floor, to match each of the marked boxes. Later you probably will change some of the items in each box, or move them to another box, but that's for later. Take one room at a time. In each room make three piles on the floor, matching the labeled boxes. Pick up an item, decide which box to put it into, and toss it into the box.

Clean and vacuum the room. Look around and enjoy the neat and tidy area that you probably have not seen for months, or perhaps years, Sort through the keep box, aiming to put more into the charity or sale boxes. The rule of thumb here is if you have not used any item in a year or more, it goes! Add it to one of the other boxes, or toss it into the garbage. Bring the box for charity to your car. Call a charity of your choice and ask them to pick them up. Most of the time they will. Sort through and price items for your garage sale. This will save you time when you have the sale. Try to arrange the garage sale at an early date, so you will not be tempted to return the items to your house. Bring the filled garbage bags to the curb on the next pick-up day. Look around! No clutter, no mess, just a nice clean house. Keep it that way on a daily basis.

Do not save cosmetics once they are used, broken, or old. Throw them in the garbage immediately. After you finish reading the newspaper or magazine, throw it into the recycling bin. Do not leave them around. You will probably never go back to read it. When a toy breaks, and cannot be fixed, toss it immediately into the garbage. Everytime you purchase a new book, look for 2-3 books that you can part with. Donate them to your local library. Sell outgrown shoes and skates, or donate them to the needy. Organize so that making arts/crafts can be enjoyable. Make sure you have a place for everything. Small boxes can hold sewing threads or paint bottles. Put them away after you are done. The Flylady (http://www.flylady.net/) website gives advice and daily encouragement for decluttering. Use it as a resource to help keep yourself on track. Work on one room at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. If you're having a tough time throwing something out, try to think about how much you really need it. If it's something you'd want to show your children, consider whether you can just talk about it, or take a picture of it.

Ask for help when lifting heavy objects such as furniture or heavy boxes.
Make sure the items you are throwing away can be put by the curb. Sanitation services may not accept all items, and you may have to dispose of them in other ways.