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At our house, it only takes a few days for things to get out of place. I have figured out an easy and quick way to get things back in order.
I take my big plastic dish pan and starting with the dining room table, as that is where most of the clutter begins, I put everything that's out of place into the pan.
I walk around the room and place what stays in that room where it belongs and anything else that does not belong in that room, I put it into the pan.
I go from room to room and in just a few minutes, I have everything back where it belongs and have saved myself lots of steps.
Nice tip! I've used a sturdy laundry basket or large box to do the same.
I hate clutter; probably because I dislike dirt. Clutter makes it far harder to just keep up, and to find things. I have even read that it can cause stress. For me, clutter means I can't find what I'm looking for, or hiding something I forgot I have. Whichever the case it may be time to get rid of a few things.
I like everything in my kitchen tidy; the cans facing all the same way, plates stacked neatly, pans where I can use them, etc. What happens is you get in a hurry, and everything get in disarray fast. I have discovered doing it right the first time saves time in the long run.
I live alone, so I have to check dates on canned foods, things in fridge and freezer to make sure they are still good. The best way to do this, is have all of your cans stacked in order neatly. For example: I have soups in one row or area, and vegetables in another. Keeping them separate makes it easier to rotate these items; making sure nothing goes to waste.
Keeping food in boxes take up a lot of space and can allow bugs. Unless you eat it up fast, I have found it best to take the contents out of the box, and store it in same-sized plastic lock containers. Having these containers keep everything fresher longer, and make everything easy to see. I have organic cereal which I don't eat a lot of, and it has been fresh for months. So in the kitchen, toss out the boxes. You can find these containers on sale, and even at thrift stores in great condition.
What I eat more of, I try to get on sale in bulk and freeze. If it's in the right container, it saves space and saves the food from freezer burn. Living thrifty means buying on sale. These containers are great for soups, and things that you make ahead of time and freeze. Bread is great to freeze. Make sure you put it into another bag (even plastic store bag helps), to prevent freezer burn. Date it, and don't put where it could be damaged before it freezes. Once it's frozen, depending on space, you can stack it.
Before you go out to the big sales, un-clutter. Examine the food you have and clean out freezer before buying more. It will save you money not to let what you may have forgotten go to waste. I weekly go through the inside the refrigerator to see what I may have forgotten. I check the dates on condiments, and make sure milk or other dairy products are good before buying other things. This saves money and time, and makes meals so much easier. Once a week, I plan my meals, and eat what's there or clean out what may not be good.
Take a minute to put away dishes, pots and pans neatly. The cabinets will have more room, and later you will get to what you need faster. If you have things you don't use donate it. Chances are if you haven't used it in 6 months you probably aren't going to. If you use the 6 month rule on most things (except china or holiday things) and rid yourself of it, you'll have more space and time.
I have very little drawer space. My towels, fiber cloths are neatly stacked in a basket in cabinet next to the sink. Having them in a nice basket helps me keep them looking nice and neat. It's OK to throw away or use for rags, the old holey dish towels. You can find them at dollar store, 2 for $1.00. Take inventory, and rotate so you aren't using same one over and over. They all will get equal use this way.
Sometimes being thrifty, we feel bad about buying anything extra. I loved the way my baskets looked when I bought new dish towels. A few years later they still look nice. Throw out the old rags, and make new rags with old towels.
In the kitchen I also got rid of the mixed silverware, and old plastic containers that I didn't need. It's surprising how fast saving used plastic containers stack up and are forgotten. In my tableware drawers, I got rid of what I didn't use, got the right dividers, and put them away correctly. It stays neat.
I don't eat out, but my son loved fast food. When he was here, he kept all of the plastic spoons and forks. They were everywhere. I didn't throw them away of course, they are in plastic bags. They are great for on the go (grab a yogurt). Those plastic containers I told you about are great for straws, plastic forks. Don't throw it the drawers.
Clutter can be anywhere, with anything. My answer is the 6 month rule, and having the right containers. Buying all of the right plastic container helped so much in every area of the kitchen. Being organized will take so much stress out of your life. It is just easier when everything has its place. Donate it, have a garage sale, or toss it if it's not good. I have found everything is better when everything is neat, orderly, clean, and less money is wasted.
Source: Life. I was always a clean nut. But until my son left, I had no idea what he had in the back of my cabinets, closets, drawers, etc. I learned that less is usually best for me.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
Some great ideas here but throwing out clean used plastic boxes and then buying more? Why not use the old ones for the freezer?
Marg from England.
Often times you can acquire things you need via barter or trade from friends and neighbors, rather than buying new. Planning a bartering event is perfect way to help people get things they need and for others to get rid of things they don't. This is a guide about plan a bring and barter event.
I am a pack rat by nature and I save everything: Broken jewelry and bits of china, ribbon pieces to be used in future craft projects; clothing that is a decade out of style but just too nice to throw away. It is a compulsion and a bad habit that with some practice can be reformed.
Since so many of us have a lot of time off for Thanksgiving, it's a good time to go through stuff and see all you've been blessed with.
To get rid of clutter, I usually start on a small project. If I start with a small junk drawer and get it all cleaned out, I feel a sense of accomplishment that makes me want to do more.
Clearing up clutter is a step by step process. I have learned that I can accomplish anything if I break it up into 15 minute increments.
I moved to a smaller house and had so many things that wouldn't fit into the new house. After I had stored a lot of it in boxes for a year, I went through it all again and found that these things no longer had as much sentimental "pull".
Spring is here and so comes the traditional spring cleaning. This year, due to my retirement, I really have the time to do a thorough cleaning of closets and cupboards. I've been discovering long lost "treasures" and duplicate grocery items.
One way to keep clutter down is to provide dedicated space/containers, baskets, shelf space, plastic tubs, hangers, and hooks, for items which tend to accumulate.
It's always a good idea to inventory and evaluate. There are items which are priceless, earning their keep over and over again. Then, there are those which only weigh us down with debt. How many items do you have which are earning their keep, and how many do you own which are weighing you down?
What works for me is to take control the minute clutter comes in the door, in any form. When the mail is brought in, sort it right then.
Ok now, Just admit it. You don't have everything you want, but you have everything you NEED. Use a grocery list and stick to it. Sell what you don't need, either in an ad, yard sale or over the net. Bartering is fun and a lot of people are anxious to do it.
To avoid clutter do what I do, whenever I buy something new, I have to get rid of one of my old ones. It's a deal I had to make with my husband to keep him from griping.
When it comes to clutter and being organized I have a rule: When going through old things every year, when I find an item that someone just had to have for christmas, birthday, etc. If that item or items is sitting and not being used...
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Clutter control tips from our readers. Post your ideas!
Yup, that's me. I'm a 53 YO male packrat from a long line of packrats (on my Mom's side). This fact of course results in a lot of clutter. There are a lot of great tips here but one just occured to me and I intend to start today. The plan is this: set aside a certain period of time every day to methodically sort, store, donate, or toss the stuff.
The best place to start would seem to be the storage areas themselves; closets, the basement, attic, garage, shelves and pantry, etc. You can't put anything 'up' unless 'up' has room for it. Then perhaps by starting at one corner of one room and working out from there, my paths will expand until they're not paths anymore, but large areas of open space.
I'll probably start with an hour a day and see how that works out. Since there is no one here but my cat and me, blaming it on the kids (or getting them to help clean up) is not an option. However, an advantage to this is that it doesn't matter how long it takes to do it. Nobody suffers from my clutter but me (and the cat, who doesn't seem to care).
Turn your "clutter" into cash by selling clothes, collectibles, etc on ebay! Too much trouble? Set a goal of a major garage sale at least once a year and donate remainder to charity. I make a LOT of money selling "junk" each year.
When shopping, live by the mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without".
I am trying to clean up my condo. I have done really well. I am cleaning as I pick up, put away and straighten. There are repairs that need to be done and I can't do them. I have asked and am going to put up a sign at church asking for help. As I put stuff away I know it doesn't go in that place but I don't have room in the place where it should go.
I have the dining room set for sale in a local paper. The table still has stuff on it. I take stuff off and I just don't know what to do with the mess that is still there. What do I do? I also have stuff I would like to sell at a yard sale. I really need the money to pay some Dr.'s bills. That stuff is in the living room.
Sandy from Halethorpe
Thank you all for your tips. Flylady really bogged me down. I have joined 2 different times. I get bogged in the emails and couldn't keep up with that. That really was making me go in the other direction. I have some men coming to fix some stuff next week. I have had that in my head so I seem to be working better just knowing someone is coming.
I am in the SAME situation but possibly worse. Free boxes help, and if no storage area, try to find a wall you can stack the labeled boxes on and up. Cover with a sheet or cloth or tarp so it looks tidy. Unless you have basement or garage which I don't.
I do go backwards often so understand it isn't easy. I think tabletops are a pile catcher and a real problem for many of us. Sort mail as fast as you can: trash, bills, to read. Date the to read and if a month old throw it out because another month of things is waiting to be read then.
List on your church bulletin board anything you want to give away or free will donation.
ALSO if you have a friend that will come over and help you, that would be great. I don't, all are too busy. But it would be easier with someone to talk to.
Don't be married to any of your stuff. Losing the detachment of it will help you get rid of it.
Best of luck to you.