Clear the Clutter

Getting rid of your clutter means throwing it away, recycling it, donating it, or selling it. Try this strategy to tackle a junky room, garage, attic, closet, or basement and sort its contents into four boxes for disposal.

Arm yourself with four large containers (boxes or large garbage bags) - plus one laundry basket.

Have one bag or box to hold items for:

laundry basket Items that you intend to keep but need to return to their correct places in other rooms should go in the laundry basket. It’s easy to carry, and you can easily see the things in it.

Choose your point of attack—the first item to your left as you enter the room, one corner of the basement, or the floor of a closet, for example. As quickly as possible, pick up items one by one and decide which container they go in.

Give yourself a time limit before you start. When your time is up, pat yourself on the back, toss out the garbage, and make one tour around the house with the laundry basket to return misplaced items to their proper homes. Plan when you will stage your next attack on the clutter in that area, or another one.

Tips for making this approach more effective:

Clutter Emergency Card

Recycle it

Recycle unused gifts

Donate it

You can multiply the benefits of getting organized by donating your unneeded items to help others, and maybe get a tax break at the same time.

Sell it

Turn some of that former clutter into cash! This can be a great way to motivate yourself and your children to sort through belongings.

wrapped gift

Yard sale, swap meet, or flea market

Resale or consignment shop


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