Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Share: Clear your clutter

10 Tips for Getting Rid of Excess Clutter
by Holly Tashian

1. Deal with your clothes. Clean out closets and dressers. Sell, consign, give away or toss anything that you no longer love or that no longer fits you. If it’s beyond repair, out of style, unflattering, or useless (like one sock only), then let it go.

2. Clear out your attic and cellar clutter. Let go of those old love letters, broken chairs, 10 year old tax records, old baby clothes, moldy rugs, useless tools, old towels and sheets, extra blankets, anything you no longer need. If you haven’t used it for the past 2 years, chances are you don’t need it, and perhaps someone else could make use of it.

3. Address the kitchen clutter. Remove everything from your kitchen counters that is not essential for every day cooking (blenders, mixers, jars of dried beans, rice, flour, etc.). These items should be stored in cupboards. Clean out the food storage areas and refrigerator to make sure nothing is expired, moldy or rotten. Clean out under the kitchen sink.

4. Organize your desk & office area. Keep your desk cleared off at the end of each work day. Create active files for all paperwork. Eliminate paper clutter by keeping one notebook for all notes, rather than post-its. Keep your Rolodex current. Handle mail once – toss catalogues that aren’t essential.

5. Recycle paper clutter. Magazines, junk mail and newspapers should be tossed out weekly. Books – especially paperbacks that you’ve read can be donated to the library. Keep only books that are essential and irreplaceable. Old textbooks, paperback classics, children’s books (when your children are grown) can be given away to book fairs, garage sales, libraries and friends.

6. Clear away garage clutter. Broken items, scraps of wood, rusty tools, parts of appliances, electrical equipment that no longer works are all candidates for the recycle bin, trash bin or Goodwill. Fix it, use it or let it go.

7. Put consciousness into bathrooms. Clean out medicine cabinets often. Keep a minimum of towels out. Make sure the linen closet is up to date and neat. Toss out any "dead soldiers" (empty shampoo, hairspray, and cologne bottles stored on the shelves). Keep magazines to a minimum of 1 or 2.

8. Stop clutter at the front door. Only buy what you need and have a predestined place for. Stop going to garage sales, throw out junk mail before it settles on the kitchen table. Accept other people’s stuff only if you really need it. If you acquire a new piece of furniture, let go of a piece of furniture that someone else can use. Recycle cans, bottles, papers, and plastic at least monthly.

9. Clean out your car. Since most of us spend considerable time in motor vehicles, it is wise to apply these guidelines to the car, RV or truck.

10. Ask yourself these questions:

Do I love it?
Do I need it?
Is it essential?
Does it enhance my life?

Then: Sort your things into 3 piles – (boxes)

Yes – I love it and I need it, it works and it’s useful
No – Someone else can have it
No – Toss it out

From: http://tashian.com/fengshui/declutter.html

17 comments:

MarmiteToasty said...

Ive got all the books from when me lads were nippers.... a huge 6 foot bookcase filled to overflowing lol.... now my minded nippers have the pleasure of hundreds of wonderful books, and oneday grandchildren will read the books that my lads read when small..... ever single book me lads ever had are contained in the bookcase...... they are not clutter they to me are treasures and wonderful memories...

as regards the socks.... we keep all odd socks and just wear them with another odd sock lmfao

I agree with the rest though ;)

x

Melissa B. said...

I'm on a "decluttering" kick myself, from my life to my house to my blog, even. My new mantra is, "If it takes up space, I'd better take a second look." PS: Don't forget today's Silly Sunday Sweepstakes!

MarmiteToasty said...

Ok you started me off.... I just put on freecycle 20 large hardback books off MY bookcase.... history of britain, british birds, cathedrals of britain and ireland, you know books along those lines that Ive had for yonks.....

They was only on freecycle 5 minutes and someone has already come and got them :)

see, what you've done lol

x

Tori_z said...

Toasty:
Well, if it's being used regularly then it's technically not clutter (e.g. the odd socks, lol!) And if it's something special to you (e.g. the kids' books) then that also needs to be considered. It's only clutter if it's just sitting there rotting and/or gathering dust but not being used.

That's great about those books you put on FreeCycle. :)

Melissa:
That's what I'm working on. I have LOADS of stuff that I didn't even remember that I owned, and stuff that I knew I had, but I never used. So, out it goes! It's different if it's something special to me (e.g. a special ornament or special teddy, etc) but if it isn't and it isn't being used (and I can't think of any time in the future I can guarantee to use it) then it goes in one of the "going somewhere else" bags. Be it to family, friends, or whatever.

Sally Ann said...

This list sounds great, but by the time I'd completed it too much time would have passed & too much time not lived!

Jayde_Bramblerose said...

Well i have just had a " de-clutter " in my bedroom , so there is so much more room for some new things " whwn i buy them " :).

AliceKay said...

My husband needs to take a lesson from this person...#6 and #9 especially.

LadyStyx said...

Im not to bad at letting things go anymore. Too many years of having to give up my stuff so someone else had room for their stuff. Somehow, I managed to marry a pack-rat *again*. Although this one's really good at letting me keep my stuff.

I find that everytime I let something go these days (because it hasnt been used in forever) is just the time I end up needing that particular item within a week of it being gotten rid of. GO figure.

Deanna said...

I'm with Marmite - I cannot let go of the children's books. They have taken some with them and my grandkids read the others. Heck I still have a couple Golden Books from my own childhood (they are in my china cabinete of all places)
My poor car is my home away from home. It is hopeless!
A lot of good suggestions there!

Tori_z said...

Sally:
Well, that's a matter of opinion, and only the case if you feel it's a waste of time. *Shrugs* To each their own.

Grandma:
Good job. :)

AK:
Mine too. ;)

Styxie:
Yeah, it often works like that.

Deanna:
Treasured items like that are different. Things like that only become clutter when you start keeping every single item that holds some sort of good memory. But a few things from childhood, or from an enjoyable holiday, etc... That's not really clutter.

Intense Guy said...

I like the question test...

Do I love it?
Do I need it?
Is it essential?
Does it enhance my life?

To answer these questions for some things are easy - like the OCHA print underwear... the answers are Yes, YES, YES! and OH YES!!

Most of my other things are just clutter.

Celticspirit said...

Clutter drives me crazy.I don't have a lot of it. I do have stuff from when my kids were little but it's pretty much organized and put away. I do have some junk to still go through in this house and not to get rid of it....just to get it more organized.

Celticspirit said...

I don't see your post about too many video games that's showing on my blog. When I click on the link, it's not on your blog.

Kati said...

Great reminder, Tori!!! Excepting the books, of course..... *grin* Couldn't get rid of my old favorites just because I've read them once or twice (or a dozen times, in more than a couple of cases)..... I even keep my original copies of my favorites, not replacing them but repairing them, because I DO love them so. And now that my niece and nephews are getting a bit older, I'm wishing I'd kept a few of Tay's books from when she was a baby....

But your post IS a great reminder that clutter CAN be gotten rid of, and some great pointers as to how to go about it.

Hope you have a fantastic week!!!!

Carrie said...

clutter is my biggest nightmare and a huge problem for me at the same time. these are great tips, if only i could actually apply them.

have you seen the kitchen cure over at thekitchn.com? a great little series on decluttering your kitchen that i'm trying to participate in right now.

Tori_z said...

Iggy:
LOL! It's amazing what people consider to be important to them. :)

Barb:
That's fair enough. :)

As for that post... I accidentally hit "publish" before changing the time in post options. It's scheduled to go up tomorrow.

Kati:
Favourite books you read regularly aren't really clutter. It's those books you keep but haven't bothered to read, or have read once but don't consider them worth a second read... Those are the ones that are clutter.

Carrie:
Thanks for visiting. :)

No, I haven't seen that. Will try and get over and take a look really soon.

ChicagoLady said...

Very good suggestions you found, Tori. I'm still working on my de-cluttering. It's a slow process as I usually don't have the desire to spend an entire day doing only that. So I do bits and pieces as the mood strikes me. I still have a bunch of stuff I need to give away, though.