Hints & HELP!
by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the February
20, 2005 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
you sometimes lost in your home due to clutter? Where does
clutter come from, is the common question. It appears for
many reasons. It comes from childrens play things,
school work, craft projects and clothes. Adults leave newspapers,
magazines, tools, clothes, etc. abandoned. It comes in the
form of unwanted mail and other types of papers. It appears
on floors, furniture, counters, tables, desks and in storage
areas. Clutter can cause problem in the home and with the
family because it hides the things we need. Now it is time
de-clutter everyone in the home must buy into the idea.
Removing clutter needs to happen the same way it started,
slow and steady. Set a time to de-clutter. Start with just
a few minutes each day. Consider the methods and strategies
you want to use. One method that works well is the four
box or bag method. Start with three containers and
the trash can. Label the containers, Put Away,
Give Away/Sell, and Storage. Anything
that doesnt go in one of the labeled containers goes
in the trash can. Start in the first area and put each piece
of clutter in one of the containers. When you are finished
with the area, take 15 minutes or put the items in the appropriate
place. As you fill the storage boxes, label them and put
them in the storage area. Empty the trash can so you dont
change your mind about those items. This method can be used
for a single area, a shelf drawer or the whole house.
you have cleared the cluttered area the real work begins.
Now its time to put the clutter prevention techniques
to work. Some techniques to follow are:
Have a home for everything.
After reading magazines, recycle them by passing them
on to someone else or donating them to a nursing home,
office or group, or take them to a recycling site and
putting them with the mixed paper. If you want to save
an article before tossing the magazine, tear the article
out and put in a file.
Sort mail immediately. Toss or shred and recycle unwanted
Sort through old clothing. Donate unwanted pieces to charity.
Go through the closets and sort out clothing not worn
or doesnt fit. Donate to family, friends or charity.
One method to use is when a new piece of clothing is purchased
get rid of another piece.
Set a time limit for keeping things. If you havent
used an appliance or other item for three years, its
probably time to get rid of it.
Store photos in a scrapbook, photo item or photo box.
If you have photos you dont need or want, give them
to family or friends in the pictures.
Store the number of shopping bags you will use and recycle
Store toys and games in crates or boxes on shelves. Develop
a plan with the children for playing with toys and putting
Have a place to put dirty clothes. This can be a hamper
or basket in the bedrooms or a central hamper in the laundry
Store sentimental items and keepsakes in well marked containers
in a dry area.
forget the junk drawer. Almost every family
has one. Many times it is neglected. Clean out things like
old candy, pens that dont work, old rubber bands and
other non-useable items. Its fine to have a junk
drawer just dont forget about it and let it become
clutter comes from not putting household items in their
place. When you use something put it away when youre
to Household Hints & HELP