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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cutting the Clutter

Excerpts from January 2011 Better Homes and Gardens: 25 Ways to Declutter for the New Year

#2 Scattering your efforts over multiple rooms prevents you from seeing progress. For visible, dramatic results, work one room at a time, one section at a time.

#3 When you're trying to decide whether to keep something, ask yourself three questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Could someone else use it?

#7 Relegating a sentimental item you no longer have use for to a box in the closet does nothing to honor it. Instead, take a photo of the item and put it in a scrapbook or load it on your digital picture frame. Then donate the item. It's both space-saving and respectful.

#10 Spend a few minutes every night restoring order to your purse. You'll feel ready to start the day.

#12 Every time you arrive home, clear the car of anything that doesn't permanently belong in it. Keep a tote or basket in the car for this purpose and ask everyone to grab something before they leave the car.

#13 Make it a game. Write tasks on ping-pong balls. Each family member chooses a ball out of a basket, completes the task, then chooses another one. After 30 minutes, whoever has the most balls gets a prize - like no chores day or control of the tv remote.

#16 If you're having trouble letting go of clutter, whether it's too many things in your house or too many commitments eating up your time, think about what it requires you to sacrifice. Less stuff means less to organize and less money spent. Fewer activities means less running around and more family time.

#17 "Go clean your room," can mean lots of things. Give your kids a list of exactly what you expect, and let them check off the tasks as they are done.

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