These simple tips will help you limit the amount of clutter in your home:
Take Out as Much as You Bring in
Get in the habit of removing things in the same bulk as you bring items in. If you bring home two bags of groceries, take out two similarly sized containers of trash, papers, or recycling. If you bring home a new outfit, donate one that you no longer wear. If you purge right away, you won’t continue filling up your home with unneeded stuff. You’ll get rid of unused items and at the same time free up space for things you can use.
Sort Mail Immediately, Over the Wastebasket
You may have heard this one before, but it really works. When you bring in the mail, sort it right away. Stand over the trashcan or sit at your desk and use the wastebasket nearby. File important items right away and toss junk mail, envelopes, and any ads or coupons you know you won’t use. Paper makes up a large part of the clutter in most homes, so this method will help stop paper clutter before it begins to pile up.
Sort Children’s Schoolwork and Artwork
This one is a bit more difficult. You and your children would probably like to keep everything they make, especially those papers with the big red “A+” at the top, and those adorable masterpieces. Unfortunately, your family won’t have room to move around if you do, especially if you have more than one child. The best way to handle this is to place your child’s best grade and favorite piece of artwork on the fridge for one week. Each week these items should be removed and exchanged for the current week’s favorites. As items are removed, they can be added to a special box. When the box is full, you and your child will need to sort through it and keep only the most cherished items. Doing so will teach your child good organization habits that he or she will use for many years.
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