Friday, April 22, 2011

Clutter Free.

If you know me, you know I hate clutter. I have none in my house, and never intend to.  My Mother In Law teases me that when I go looking for something and can't find it, she knows I threw it away. Which is most likely true. She won't give me any of Michael's "keepsakes" because she thinks I'd throw them away. {Which in all honestly, She's probably right, because all I think is hey, that's less crap I have to organize and store"}  It has it's downsides. Occasionally Mike asks me for a paper and I say I can't find it, and in the back of my head I'm thinking "Oh was that the yellow piece of paper laying on the dresser I threw away? Hmmmm. I'm sure he knows, because he knows that everything has a place and everything in it's place. But those are few and far between. And living clutter free is so worth it. So here's a few of my best strategies.
  • Consume consciously. Buy only what you LOVE, don't settle. If you "like" the dress, chances are you will wear it once and it will sit in the back of your closet and clutter up space. Buy only what you will use. Don't just buy it because you can get a good deal on it or get it for free. {I think this is why extreme couponing airs right next to hoarders.} 
  • If you are buying a newer version of something get rid of the old one.If you get a new shirt, Get rid of an old one. Cell phones, TV's, computers, dressers, Bikes, Tupperware containers. Why are you keeping those old warped containers that are missing lids? You just bought a new set. how much Tupperware do you really need?
  • Live within your space means. Just like living within your financial means. Enough said. 
  • Have a "landing strip" this is where Mike throws all his junk from his pockets when he comes home from work. Wallet, keys, gum, chapstick, phone, Etc. And I hang my purse.
  • Make sure everyone in the house knows where everything goes. If you set out on this mission alone, your going to fail. Teach the kids to put their shoes in the basket by the door. Not thrown in the front hall. Make it their habit. Pull a karate kid and make him hang his jacket up 4,000 times. 
  • Buy a few quality items instead of a hundred cheap items. Point in case, My kids closet. My kids have very few clothes. I buy them 4-5 nice, quality shirts or dresses, and spend the same amount of money as I would, instead of filling their closet with a thousand cheap "they won't last a day without a hole against my toddler" clothes. 
Don't know where to start?... 
  •  Pick an area to focus on. Don't take on the whole house at one time. You will be overwhelmed and quit.
  • Visualize what you want. Look at pictures, get inspired. And think of how much better you will feel when it's the way you want it.
  • Clear out the space. Totally empty. What's better than a blank canvas?
  • Sort everything into 4 piles. { Keep, Toss, Donate, Fix}
  • Go back to the keep pile. Now cut it in half by repeating the 4 piles.
  • Give everything a "home" a specific place where only that item belongs. 
  • Pick storage containers, or baskets. You have to know what and where you will be storing before you can pick them out. 
How to let go of items you think you need to keep.
  • Ask yourself - " Do I LOVE it?"
  • Ask yourself - " Do I use it a lot?"
Don't keep things out of a sense of obligation, fear, or guilt. I mean don't go throwing away your nana's heirloom broach, but don't keep your old boyfriends t shirt either.
Only keep sentimental items if you associate them with happy memories. Don't keep you and your x husbands wedding video. Why do you need that? Do you remember that show that Jerry Seinfield did a while back and that crazy lady kept her dead husbands prosthetic leg? Tell me how that makes sense. Trust me, you'll be happier with less.


This makes me happy.


  1. I am also and organization freak but you wouldn't know it!! I organize things and I swear they look terrible the very next day.... how do you get your hubby and kids to put things back where they belong?

  2. Um my kids are pretty good about it, I guess they've just known since they were old enough to clean up their mess that that's what I expect. Mike, bless his heart, is perfect in every way except for the fact that he eats Mcdonalds, and puts his clothes on the floor next to the laundry basket instead of in the laundry basket... still a work in progress... he's getting better though!

  3. That makes me happy too... you've inspired me.