Although my home is usually clean and tidy, the issue of clutter was always lurking close by!! This summer a little bit by little bit, I've worked to clean out the clutter. Even if everything is neat and in piles, if there is too much stuff - it is CLUTTER!!
Now de-cluttering can be a painful process! Memories are attached to much of our stuff and then there is always the "what if I need this again" thought that haunts us. Here are a few tips before you begin to help eliminated and deal with clutter:
1. Do you have more than one of some utility item? Keep your favorite or best one and toss the rest. Many people keep four potato peelers, three strainers and five 9x13 pans. If this is you, do you often prepare meals for 50 or more people? No? Toss it!
2. Food stuff: Although the $.10 a can was a great deal, if food won't be used, it becomes clutter. If you have more items than your family can eat in a year, use them before you buy more or donate them to a food bank.
3. Are you really ever going to make that craft or sewing project? Wanting to and realizing you may not get around to it are different things. Toss it.
4. Why save 25 empty mayo jars when you only use two a year? I used to save every glass pickle jar, mayo jar, etc. because someone told me you could use them to can in. But... I didn't can! But I did continue to save them. It felt great to toss them and find usable space that they took up.
5. Old Magazines: Another guilty of mine! If you are saving a magazine that is dated from the last millennium or even last year and haven't read it do you honestly think you're going to ever read it?
6. Why are you keeping it if it is torn, stained, too small or outdated? Get rid of it7. How many tee shirts can you wear in a week? Why do you have 30 stuffed in your closet? How about pants, dresses, and pajamas? Yep...guilty again!!
8. Do I really need 5 pairs of brown loafers? Or brown slides, or white pumps? Enough said.
9. Do your children play with the same half dozen favorite toys every day while the rest lay buried in the toy chest? Why are you saving the rest? Toss them! (But not in front of the kids. They will never consent to giving up anything!) If there are things they don't play with but you think they still like, put them in a box for a few months and trade them out with some of the other stuff when they get bored with what they have. Don't be a pack rat. If you have 12 boxes like this, keep tossing.
10. Do you really think that when your son is 35 years old, he will get a thrill out of looking at every school paper he ever did, especially the ones where he wrote the letter "D" a hundred and one times? Keep the highlights if you like, but if it takes more than a small box, keep tossing.
Using these guidelines can be a good start to sifting through and keeping under control the clutter monster! And that will make your home SING!!