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Clutter Be Gone!

Clutter Be Gone!

As trees shed their leaves, our thoughts often turn to the unwanted stuff we need to shed to make our homes and lives feel freer, easier, and more spacious. But how to begin the daunting task of ridding our homes of clutter?

Many people are turning to professional organizers for help; in fact, the author of this article paid hundreds of dollars to consult with one. But you can save your money! He shares three sanity-saving tips that can help you get your house in order, for free. Find out what they are, right here:

1. Start with one small step. Rather than follow his organizer’s advice to make long lists of things to keep, the author learned that it’s better to start with actually tackling something small and attainable, like cleaning out a closet and getting rid of what you don’t need. This way you don’t get overwhelmed and the sweet feeling of success will give you the incentive to do something bigger.

2. Keep only what you need and use. Take time to decide what you really, truly use and need, and be ruthless about donating or recycling the rest. This is the crux of true organizing. Follow William Morris’s dictum that everything in a home should either be beautiful, useful, or both.

3. Dealing with Mystery Boxes. We’ve all got ‘em: those storage boxes filled with who-knows-what. The organizer suggested that the author take photos of the top layer of stuff inside each box, so that the photos could be displayed on the outside. But it would be a far, far better thing to simply go through the boxes one by one, getting rid of anything unwanted and organizing the rest by type (kitchen utensils, tools, etc.), placing these in new boxes that are clearly labeled with the contents. No more mysteries!

Read more: Home, Household Hints

Adapted from “Organic Style Magazine” (Rodale Press, October 2004 issue).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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3:21PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

I too am guilty of the clutter collector syndrome. My problem is actually justifying that I do not have any further need for the item.

9:02AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

When it comes to clearing up clutters, its best to know what are the things that'd be necessary to keep for good uses and what is not needed.
It is best to do tidying up of things at least once a week to prevent storage rooms accumulating mountains of clutters

2:55PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

sounds easy as pie!

8:44AM PDT on May 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:50AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:31AM PST on Jan 7, 2011

I agree with Shailja, have a friiend help you and reward youself with dinner or movie afterwards. My sister actually had a "closet sale' and sold a bunch of new items right out her closet to a friend that had a husband out of work and needed to do Christmas shopping! Both came up winners!

8:51AM PST on Nov 25, 2010

smart advice, thank you!

4:43PM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

i too need to clean house, start small, will often make requirements of 7 cloths / day, of folding/ organizing, Usually i do 50 cloths, from nighties & shawls, ( easiest ones / day, in a weekend eve, w/ a movie in the background. ONly thing... i take a week off till months go by... & we start again.

This time i plan to attack w/ a friend, in short sessions, followed by movie/ or dinner/ or some reward!!


10:14AM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

sounds simple enough

3:34AM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

I have a lot of clutter in my house and it is so embarassing. I need to start small. Pick a box and empty it. Thanks for the useful tips. I know I will succeed!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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