Peace of Mind from De-cluttering the House

Peace of Mind from De-cluttering the House

Say “goodbye” to excess stuff this winter and “hello” to less cluttered living.

The holidays are over, and you’re staring at more stuff scattered around your house than you’ve seen in a year or more. Yes, it’s that time of year – the holiday highs are now trending to lows, and your family routine is setting back in. No more fun distractions from the truth – it’s time to purge.

Aunt Jenny may have given you your fourth decorative vase in a row (without realizing it), and although you want to be sensitive you know that you simply don’t have the capacity to display one more glass vase – especially with three kids under the age of ten.

So What to do, What to do? Start Purging.
A great method to get “out with the old …” is to create piles or bins to more easily sort your items. Group your items into containers to “keep,” “purge/donate” or “sell” to streamline the process and get the excess out of your sight.

Starting with your mailbox and entryway, here are some more tips for a less cluttered, more organized home.

Mail Trail
Does the mail pile up fast and frequently? Do you find mini piles or stacks clustered around your house? One way to cut back on postal pileup is to sort the mail immediately – rather than simply stacking it – the day it arrives. This means you have to grab it out of the mailbox daily, if possible.

  • Bills Take the Top. Make bills the top priority and have a designated place on your desk or in a drawer so you’ll remember to pay them. Magazines and catalogues should be separated and placed in the location in which you read them.
  • Magazine Management. When you add one new magazine, discard another to keep the stack to a minimum.
  • Junk the Junk. Don’t hang on to everything that comes across your doorstep – toss, recycle and shred at will.

Ah, the entryway. Where everyone wants to drop and go. Backpacks, lunchboxes, work bags, workout bags, keys and of course, shoes! So many shoes. The key for this space is order. Try low shelves with cubbies where everyone can take off their shoes and store them, toe to heel. Hang pegs for coat and bag storage, and above all things, try to keep the endless trail of bags up off of the floor. We know, it’s not easy.


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Home Office
If your workspace isn’t orderly, your brain won’t function optimally, either. Clear as many of the surfaces as you can, so you have adequate room to write, read or use your computer. Loose papers should be sorted, stacked and filed regularly – at least once a week. Establish an inbox for unread mail or pending correspondence and keep only key supplies – pens, paper, stapler – in sight. Everything else should be kept in a drawer or on a shelf and put back after each use. Sounds tough, but it’s definitely worth the effort to try!

Given the amount of family foot traffic, the bathroom’s organization can fall apart pretty quickly. The first step toward order: Grab a trash bag and throw out what’s wasting space, like expired cosmetics and medications, and nearly empty bottles of shampoo. Next, purchase compact bins to stash under the sink or in the linen closet for storing hair elastics, bobby pins, brushes and the like. Got a house full of teenagers? Consider giving each one a personal shower caddy to help minimize mess (and squabbles over conditioner).

Family Room

There’s no way to relax in the family room if it’s littered with clutter. Don’t let your coffee table become a resting place for homework, books and outdated magazines. You need space to put down a drink or snack, so when spills occur, the mess goes on the table, rather than on the rug or someone’s homework assignment.

Establish a designated spot for electronics – like the TV remote control — perhaps a small tray that can also hold coasters and eyeglasses.


How does the fridge get so packed so quickly? You could be keeping foods well past their prime. Do a weekly weed-out to get rid of old leftovers, nearly empty jars of salsa or anything that hasn’t been used in six months – opened or not. Don’t forget about the freezer! Anything hanging around for nine months or more should be tossed.

Keep order in your cupboards by separating long-term dry goods (flour, rice, pasta) from short-term items like cereal, cookies and crackers. Keep the most-used items at eye level and store specialty items or appliances that you only use once in a while (like that waffle maker) on the top shelf.

Have ideas about how to purge the junk and get more organized? Share them below!

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Old medication should be returned to a pharmacy, not thrown in the trash.

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