Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Jacksonville, NC
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I am not that bad with clutter, but I think I have the potential to be. This is what I do to keep the clutter monster at bay:
Throw stuff out. Anything. Everything.
Every time I clean, the first thing I do is go through the room/house/area with a trash bag and throw out everything I can. When mail comes, junk goes immediately into the trash. I keep catalogs because I enjoy them, but when a new issue comes, I throw out the old one. Same with magazines, except Mothering.
Every week when I do grocery shopping, I go through the fridge and throw out anything rotten/expired as I'm putting the new stuff away. I also wipe down the shelves while I'm at it. My mom always kept leftovers forever, only cleaning out the fridge every few months, and it was nasty. Lots of "mystery fuzz." I want to avoid that.
When I put laundry away, I look over my clothes and take out anything that doesn't fit or that I just never wear. If something has a stain that doesn't come out in the wash, it goes from the washer to the trash can. Period.
This helps me get rid of big piles/collections of stuff. I recently sold all my old maternity clothes on eBay, as well as a bunch of baby clothes. I only made about $50, but it's worth it to me, and without that motivation, I probably would have let the boxes sit forever.
For baby clothes, I go through and set aside sentimental stuff. The rest goes to Once Upon A Child. I take the money I get from them, add a little, and use it to buy new stuff. I do this every time Cole outgrows a lot of clothes or the season changes.
For my clothes - brand-name stuff goes on eBay (a real moneymaker for me since I buy it from the thrift shop or on clearance), the rest goes to a thrift shop.
Really, it's a continuous process. I have to quickly go through clothes every time I do laundry. I do the fridge every time I put away groceries. I wash dishes every time I cook. My husband would say I'm sloppy, but I really am much better than I used to be.
Oh, I also have a schedule for chores that I made on Excel. Days of the week go across the top, and a list of chores that get done on a regular basis go down the left side. Then, if something only gets done, say, once a week, I pick what day to do it. The rest of the days on that row get filled in. So every day, I look down the list to see what boxes are blank. Those chores get done, and I check off the box when it's finished. It's also great for when DH is in a helpful mood - instead of asking me what I need done (because I never really know, off the top of my head), he can just look at the chart, which is posted on the fridge.