Managing Clutter - a article I found useful

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I found this article to be useful. The direct link to the article is at the bottom

In the 'Your Home' section of the Arizona Republic newspaper on 01/21/2012 was an article "Take Control of Clutter" by Kara G Morrison
Quoted and/or paraphrased, here's what I read regarding ideas from professional organizer and author Charlotte Steill

Shoving stuff into closets, drawers, and storage rooms the 'shove and close method' is what happens when people lack specific places for things to go.
Here are her top 10 wayst to keep clutter (and Stress) managed:

1) Create a landing spot and find a specific place for each item within 24 hours.
This prevents bags and purchases from being shoved somewhere. Procrastination
just creates a pile

2) Create a donation bag for items you no longer used ot to a nearby charity.
Once a month, take the bag to the charity. This creates a deadline.
Filling the bag becomes a priority.
Places in the U.S.

Check with local organizations such as domestic violence shelters, churches, temples,
mosques which have programs for those in need, Big Brothers Big Sisters

3) Sell stuff
For things of significant value (good furniture, brand-name clothes/shoes,
nice household accessories) try a consignment house.
For electronics (laptops,cell phones, monitors, etc) try


4) Create a 'halfway house' - a holding area in an out of the way closet, garage, or shed
For things which we're not ready to get rid of, including seasonal items
After 6 months or a year, if we haven't retrieved the item, it's time to donate or sell it.

5) Group like things together.
For example, get the pens spread around and put them in a designated single place.
Or light bulbs, office supplies, spices, or bills. Then you know where to find them.

6) Create a warehouse space.
If you buy a group of things on sale, create a space to keep them organized, grouping
like things together. This can help you avoid buying duplicates 'just in case'

7) Open mail daily.
Junk mail goes in the trash immediately. You might want to shred ID identifying stuff.
The rest goes in 3 categories - trash, reference material, and action paper.
File reference material. Paper requiring action goes into the action center.

8) Start a paper 'action center' divided into 3 categories which go into slots or on shelves
'Do Now!' requires daily attention... ex. bills and correspondence
'Do later' requires weekly attention
'Pending' holds things such as disputed charges which can be trashed when resolved
Do the same with emails, creating the same three email categories

9) Go digital
File only vital paper documents
Titles, insurance, wills, tax records, legal papers, medical/health records, passports,
birth and/or death certificates, list of credit card info
Shred any papers (especially bills/recipes) which can be accessed electronically
You can use something like NeatDesk scanner to create searchable digital files.
This eliminates paper business cards, receipts, recipes, bills, etc.
There are programs such as Roboform and KeePass to remember passwords
Internet Explorer & Firefox have add-ons which ask if you want passwords remembered
There are online sites on which you can backup your data
Ex: Carbonite, Microsoft Cloud, Symantic, SuperSync, OpenDrive, MyPCBackup etc,

10) Asses the closet
Start the year by hanging all your clothes hangers facing backward
As you take things out to wear, put hanger back normally
After 12 months, part with clothing you haven't touched,
esp. when you get new items (you can make your donation bag grow quickly)
You can do the same with shoes (face them backwards until you use a pair)
The average person wears only about 20% of theri wardrobe

Here is the link to the article:
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