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Organizing Clutter

Sometimes tackling the mess can just seem overwhelming. This guide is about organizing clutter.


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By 23 found this helpful
September 14, 2009

Do you feel overwhelmed that your home is a big mess? Just looking at it, you do not know where to begin? Try this: Take a big green trash bag and go in each room, Put everything that is laying around into this bag; clothes, toys, shoes, just what ever is on the floor and such. You will have a clean home in 10 minutes. Then while you are sitting down watching a movie, go through this bag and put everything in place. It gives such peace of mind

By Karen from MO

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December 17, 2010

When reorganizing my home, I used to forget where seldom-used items got redirected to. After some frustrations, I learned to keep a recipe card file of alphabetized note cards, one for each item I moved. Now, when I can't seem to remember where I put the bead weaving loom or the tabletop easel, I just go to the card file and am reminded.


By ChurchGrandma (j.a.) Manweiler from MT

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August 19, 2009

If you have some clean cans and some strong bulldog clips, you can have a catch all to keep handy. Just put the clip everywhere the tins meet, and fill evenly with things like I did. I put in office, tool, and craft supplies.


But, since this was just for show, you could use like things. Camping utensils, napkins, and plastic silverware. Stationary supplies like pens, markers, and such. Art brushes, scissors and paint tubes. Craft hooks and needles, a small skein of yarn or pattern books. Beauty supplies like emery boards, tubes of creams or items for skin and bug protection. Screwdrivers, pliers, and small tools.

The nice thing about this is you can throw it together for a special project or event, then put things away when you finish or get home. Keep the cans together or separate for later. If you find the right box or tub, you can do this without the clips, by just setting them inside. I can tell you that a 6.5 in. by 6.5 in. inch box is perfect for four cans, so you can plan accordingly.

Got a big picnic? Set this, as big as you need it, on one end of the table for all your utensils. Fixing the house up? Set this up in the center of the project area and keep all Phillips in one, flat heads in another, and so on.


Art project in the future? How handy would this be for all the same colored markers, florescent and crayons, art brushes, foam brushes and more to stay organized? You can leave them uncovered for the "unfancy" event, or decorate or paint them for picnics, parties, or BBQ, etc.

If you have smaller things to put in them, but don't want to have to dig, just put the smaller things in a yogurt cup and it will set in the top just about perfect. N-JOY!

By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Salem OR

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October 5, 2011

I recently got 3/$1.00 baskets that are absolutely invaluable to me. They are useful for so many things, especially when you have limited counter and desk space.


I put this one up above my little desk with push pins and now keep my stamps, Dr. appt. cards, and rent receipts in it.

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April 29, 20044 found this helpful

I have a 3 lb coffee can that I add all screws, pieces of blinds, wing nuts, lamp parts and "what have you" that are left over. For over 30 years now if I have needed something to hang a picture, anchor or screw I just look in the "MAGIC CAN" and there it is.

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July 28, 2009

Crisscross several thin, braided elastic headbands around the front cover of a three-ring binder, and your child can tuck pens, pencils, and reminder notes under them. You can also use the same concept on the sun visors in your car.

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May 8, 2012

Use a clutter jail to help kids pick up their stuff. If you pick something of theirs off the floor they then have to pick a card from a jar, and complete the task before they get their item returned.


Here is some card ideas:

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By 5 found this helpful
November 28, 2012

I had an old roll-up front wooden breadbox that I was loathe to part with, but didn't need for bread keeping so I re-purposed it as a kitchen organizer.

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April 21, 20051 found this helpful

If you have baskets or crocks displayed on high shelves, you can hide small decorative objects inside them, and no one will ever know.

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August 6, 20041 found this helpful

When company is coming, take your clutter items and box them up for sorting at a later time. This saves me time when I am rushed for cleaning, as I can sort through the box while watching TV or a good rainy day project.

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January 28, 20052 found this helpful

Keep a basket in each room for clutter. Have the family help clean out the baskets once a week. When unexpected company arrives, simply put the baskets in the closet.

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October 17, 2011

I recently redecorated the bedroom by turning it into the "combo room". Very soon you will see the massive job it was, but for now, this is what I came up with.

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By 4 found this helpful
August 21, 2008

Controlling clutter with kids is not an easy task! To try to control the clutter in the living room, kitchen, and dining room, we have to do a walk-through everyday (or at least every other day).

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By 8 found this helpful
August 26, 2011

Clutter can become overwhelming. My solution is to create a master list of things that are needed to live. Clothes that are needed for our/your way of life, groceries, furniture, and just basic needs which are placed in categories.

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August 29, 2008

I have a small trailer so I have 2 plastic stands that I brought at Wal-Mart. One I use for putting items for cooking, baking, and extra stuff I don't use right away. I have a small one for my computer.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 11, 2009

Personalized organizer from a recycled ruler, magnets, clothes pins, and foam shapes. We used hot glue to place the clothespins and magnets onto the ruler.

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March 9, 20091 found this helpful

I keep a CD rack by my computer to hold papers for my printer, files and invoices to be paid. It is easy to get the papers I need in a flash.

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August 14, 20080 found this helpful

Like most of us I am besieged by the clutter demon! However I find this does help a little. Every night before I go to bed I tidy up the living room/kitchen area.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 22, 2008

There are several things that I try to do to keep clutter down. When you walk in our door, you are in the kitchen. There's the table which is the first place that catches everything that people walk in the door with whether its mail, school bags, etc.

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February 19, 2008

Tiered hanging wire baskets, the kind for storing fruits and vegetables, can be used in a child's room to organize toys or stuffed animals; in a closet for storing socks, belts and underwear; or in a bathroom for storing makeup, hair accessories, etc.

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March 22, 20050 found this helpful

Telephone books and department store catalogs are recyclable but many times we hang onto them because of information we have written in them.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 2 found this helpful
November 6, 2010

I worked for an apt complex for 9 years. Our residents were mostly college students. When they graduated and moved a lot of them left everything behind.

I started gathering up the stuff that was left. I have 18 vacuum cleaners and over 300 T-shirts, as an example of what I have. I've said, "I have found everything except a house and a gun". I gathered too much stuff and now my friends think I am a hoarder. But, I've got so much stuff, I don't know where to begin to get rid of it.

I've been told to take it all to the flea market and sell there. I have a 10 room house, 5 of the rooms are almost completely dedicated to stuff I want to get rid of. Are there garage sale experts who can give me advice?

By Lotzamoxie from Waco, TX


November 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you don't want to donate or give it away, you can always try Craig's List. Then you don't have to bother hauling the stuff to the flea market, just post the info & sell it. Follow precaution though, don't let them come to your house, arrange to meet them in a public place like the parking lot of your corner convenience store or grocery store or something & don't go alone. Cash only, don't take checks or anything else that can be faked. Here's a link to the Waco website & to their safety suggestions.
http://www.crai  org/about/safety

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December 24, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wait until spring and have a garage sale, or yard sale. Run an add in you're town news paper, and sell the best if you need a little cash. Then donate the rest. Don't take checks, ask for cash in your ad. You should make some good cash. You have kept the items this long. So you can surely keep them until spring, Lot of people buy old clothing to make crafts out of.
Hope this helps.

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February 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My folks owned a "seasonal residential hotel" for many years. The people would come and stay for just one season, and then move on. Usually , they were just considered tourists, but some followed "where the work was". They bought everything new when they came, and left it all sitting there when they packed up the clothing they wanted and left. Sometimes, we'd see them several years in a row just in the summertime.

I'm sure they had homes and I know they didn't always buy the best of everything to use for the time they were in the hotel. When they'd leave though, my parents would call the agency that oversaw "Battered Women" as they were always the most in need of clothing, and household items in order to make a home for their children.

Now, I always find the same outlet for anything I have to share. Those women need everything, and as a rule, they've left abusive situations with nothing except the clothes on their backs and the backs of their children. Very few of them are in a position to find a job yet, but they still need certain things which are just out of their reach.

I urge every woman reading this to consider giving clothing and household items to an agency that will get it all to "Battered Women". No one in our country needs your help more than they do.

With 18 vacuum cleaners and over 300 T-shirts, you could do a lot of good all at once.


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Answer this Question...

February 6, 2011

I have a long icky story that I won't bore you all with, but I am in a bit of a pickle. I have made huge strides in de-cluttering and clearing my home. I began 3 weeks ago with the easy stuff, garbage, old magazines, papers, etc. that were most visible and I knew would make the "visual" impact that would keep me motivated.

Now I am at the hard stuff. Let me give you a scenario. I have a ______ (enter "box, closet, room, container, etc") containing the following: letters, books, important papers, pictures, office supplies, crafts, samples, toys, kitchen items, bathroom items, shoes, etc.

My question is, what do I do first? Sort and put things where they are supposed to go? or purge? (do the emotional part of deciding to toss, ie., do I need this, do I have another one just like it, does it work, does it make me sad, happy, etc.). By Trina Sudhoff


February 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm going to call you Econo for short 'cuz your user name is too long for me to memorize as I scroll down the page to respond. :) Congrats for the first step! I'm like you, the visual improvement motivates me to continue the de-cluttering process. Just be aware that it can also cause a false sense of achievement! (Been there, still dealing with that!)

My best suggestion involves eight bins or bags with eight different labels:
1) Keep - Put back where it belongs.
2) Donate - Items must be clean and functional
3) Recycle - Plastic, paper, etc.
4) Trash - Trash, soiled, broken, dysfunctional, 'Nuf said
5) Sell - The garage/yard sell stuff
6) Sell - the more valuable E-Bay/auction stuff
7) Repurpose - Wood, fabric, etc.
8) Keep - Sentimental

As soon as the #1 bin (put back where it belongs), the #2) bin (donate), the #3 bin (recycle) or the #4 bin (trash) gets full, deal with them: put up, donate, recycle or trash at each days end.

Bins # 5, 6, 7, & 8, as they fill up, will need to move into another area for later action. (These will be the toughest to deal with and you will feel better by giving yourself a second, slightly delayed, opportunity to validate your original quick sort decision.) Honestly, however, by allowing yourself a second chance to go through these items you will probably find more and more items to eliminate via the trash, donate, recycle options. You will feel more confident in these choices as you give yourself the opportunity to think through it twice!

For most, the room by room method works best, but for others, it's drawer by drawer, or wall by wall. Just keep your system flexible enough that if you get stuck ("what do I do with this?") you can forgive yourself for not tackling it immediately and move on to another area that helps you keep up the momentum.

Be realistic as to how many hours per week you can actually devote to de-cluttering. Even if you get behind schedule, never beat yourself up as long as you are making significant progress on a routine basis.

I got into my own cluttered life style because a) I'm sentimental - my grandparents and parents were all gone before I was 33 years old and I inherited a lot of their stuff, b) I'm frugal, borderline cheap, and can tell you within a dollar how much I spent on every item in my home, not wanting to part with a dime and c) I can't stand throwing away anything that still has a useful purpose, even if I don't have a useful purpose for that item. (In part, that's why I use so many bins.)

I'm getting out of my cluttered life style because I'm weary of being the caretaker of "stuff"! Wishing you the same sense of sanity and best of luck with the process.

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
January 19, 2015

I save everything, paper and stuff. What is the best way to organize paper?

By Marion


January 26, 20150 found this helpful

I have started to scan everything and keep the digital copies organized in separate folders' Everything from paid bills to recipes. I get what bills I can delivered through email. Prescription recetpts?. my pharmacy will give me a single, detailed receipt for taxes every year.

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Read More Answers

August 24, 20112 found this helpful

This is a guide about getting rid of clutter. Clutter can add up around the house faster then you thought possible. Keeping clutter down in your home helps your home be more organized and clean.

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