Divide and Conquer Your Clutter!
80% of what we own, we never use. –Blueprint Magazine, 2007
Every once in a while, I imagine getting news that our family has to suddenly leave our home, for whatever reason. I picture myself scrambling to grab clothes, photo albums, birth certificates, and all the cash I can find, all while yelling commands at the kids and husband. What a panicked scene that would be, and I have to admit, it would be made far more difficult by the clutter that has recently infested my home.
It’s time to declutter, moms! Not just for evacuation or emergency purposes, but for our own sanity! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased something like nail glue, only to find two bottles hidden in my medicine cabinet or have scrambled through every pile of papers looking for a sales receipt so I can return something! When my daughter was born, I started a “Memory Box” that has now morphed into a “Memory Garage!” If we’re forming a line to declutter our homes, I’ll be at the very front!
Susan Stewart, owner of Perfectly Placed Organization & Design, suggests choosing just one small area at a time to declutter and gave me these five categories for dividing, and conquering, all the clutter in our lives. Choose your “battlefield”, and begin sorting into these five piles.
- Give to someone special. — This pile will contain things that have either a sentimental or practical value to someone you know. For example, a book you’ve been meaning to give to your best friend.
- Donate. Sometimes I’d rather have a receipt from a non-profit organization for my donation than go through the trouble of a yard sale. Choose your organization(s), set a date for delivering your goods, and you will have made someone, somewhere, a happier person.
- Trash. Much of what we hold on to is just trash. Stained clothing, old receipts, expired coupons, magazines. Just trash it! Grab the biggest garbage bag you can find, and get to work!
- File. Use this guide to decide what you can toss and what needs to be filed away. If you don’t have file folders or filing boxes, take care of that today. Otherwise, this pile will just become another unmanaged mass of papers by the weekend.
- Move to another location. Those Hotwheel cars do not belong on my kitchen counter! Enlist your family’s help in putting things where they belong!
Whew! If I can do this, you can do it, too! Our homes, our lives, and our minds will thank us!
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