Ennis Daily News

Conquer clutter for good


Clutter has a funny way of creeping up on a person. It starts with a few papers piling up on the counter. After awhile, closets and cabinets are packed with stuff rarely used. Homeowners can tame the clutter by following a few steps.

For many people the accumulation of belongings is a status symbol. Many believe that the more stuff they have … bigger and better stuff … the more successful and well off they are. They have to have the latest video game systems, books, magazines, electronic gizmos, and more. After a while — and when interest wanes in these items — they’re placed in storage and begin collecting dust.

Breaking the connection with belongings is one of the first steps to clearing out clutter. Here are some other steps to take.

* Make friends with the garbage pail. One of the easiest ways to get rid of clutter is to simply get rid of it. If an item hasn’t been used in at least a year, think about throwing it out. Many people say they are going to sell or donate seldom-used belongings, only to procrastinate. Tossing them into the trash is faster.

* Have a yard sale. For individuals who have the gumption and devotion to organize and sell items, then have a yard sale. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This can be a fast way to get rid of clutter and make a few dollars in the process. Chances are a yard sale will yield faster results than putting items for saleonline. Plus, the seller doesn’t have to incur the costs of shipping.

* Freebie offer. There are enterprising individuals who are just looking for no- or low-cost items to collect, and probably add to their own clutter. Set items that will not be used at the curb and there’s a good chance they will be gone before the next garbage pickup. Ask friends and family members if they have a need for certain items that can be given away.

* Donate. There are plenty of less-fortunate people who can benefit from another person’s excess. If there is baby clothes and gear that may be stored in an attic, find out if it can be donated to a women’s shelter or a daycare center. Perhaps a halfway house can use electronics, older appliances, tools, and other things that have been accumulating in the garage. Be reasonable about clothing in the closet. If it doesn’t fit now, give it away. Should one lose weight at a later time, it will be fun to purchase smaller clothing.

* Organizational systems can help. There are all sorts of products, from closet systems to storage bins, that can help organize belongings. Simply culling through items and storing them in designated bins or on shelves can significantly reduce a mess.

* Rotate closets. Free up space in closets by storing out-of-season clothes and shoes in the attic. Once the weather changes, then swap the wardrobe. This easily alleviates space concerns.

* Put things where they belong. Laziness often leads to clutter. That’s because people tend to drop things in drawers or areas where items don’t belong as a quick fix. Not only does this make finding things more difficult, it may contribute to purchasing doubles of things already owned. It can also cause clutter to accumulate where it’s least desired. Take the time to put things where they belong and alleviate a mess in the process.

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Posted by on Feb 13 2011. Filed under Consumer tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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