by Tamera Lynn Kraft
Clutter can take over our lives if we let it. Clutter causes stress and makes it difficult to find things. But fear not. Here are ten easy steps to declutter you life.
1. Start at the front door of your house.
2. Go in a clockwise circle around the room and organize.
3. Keep four boxes and trashcan with you.
The first box is labeled “Put Away”. This is for stuff that you need to put away or find a place for.
The second box is labeled “Give Away” or “Sell”. These are items that have some value but that you don’t need. After you’re done decluttering, sell this stuff on e-bay or at a garage sale and make some money, or take it to the Salvation Army or AmVets.
The third box is for storage. These are items you need but not that often. Christmas decorations would fall in this category. Label each storage box with what is in that box for easy reference later.
The fourth box is for keepsakes and memorials that mean a great deal to you. This box is not for the pencil your nine year old took to school his first day of Kindergarten. These keepsakes should be important and irreplaceable. Things like your wedding certificate and your children’s first teeth might go here.
The trashcan is for everything else. You might also want to have a recycle bag for items you can take to the recycle plant later. See, you are helping the environment by decluttering.
5. Evaluate your stuff. Have you used it in the last year? Do you intend to use it within a month? Does it have great sentimental value? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you can keep it. Otherwise get rid of it. You will be amazed at how much stress you can get rid of by getting rid of your stuff.
6. Repeat in every room.
7. Go through the keepsakes again. Consider how you can display them, or start a scrapbook or memory box for each of your children. If you have too many keepsakes to fill one memory box for each child and to display your treasure, go through them again, and try to cut them down by half.
8. Find a place for all your put away items. At this point, you may have to get rid of some of them. You don’t need 53 pens and 7 pairs of scissors. The first time I went through this process, I found out I had seven 99 cent turkey basters. My husband convinced me to keep two so I had a back-up, but nobody needs seven turkey basters. Get rid of excess items.
9. Find a place for your storage boxes. They should be easily accessible but not take up prime space in your home. A storage closet, shelves in the garage, the attic, or the basement work well for storage boxes.
10. Find a place for your garage sale or e-bay stuff and label the boxes with the date. If you don’t sell them within a year, take them to the Salvation Army. You never will get to selling them if your haven’t within a year.
Repeat process at least once a year and enjoy the peace that comes from a clutter free house.