While loading up the family to leave my in-laws after the Thanksgiving holiday, I stepped into our SUV to find a half full Gatorade bottle, two hunting booklets, a store flyer and a number of receipts. My husband, our youngest son, and two other members of our family had gone deer hunting the previous day. Seeing the remnants of their expedition, I gathered up everything but the receipts and asked my husband to throw the trash away. He responded that he wanted to read the booklets and the store flyer but that they would be out of the house by that night. By George, I think he’s got it! Minimize what you bring into your home, and when you must bring miscellaneous papers, bags, mail, coupons, newspapers into your home, do not let it linger. Get rid of the clutter quickly.
Junk and clutter breeds more junk and clutter. If there is already trash on the floor, do you think it will matter to your child if he adds another wrapper from a granola bar? If there are school papers, bills and junk mail all over your counters, what is the benefit of discarding the one advertisement that was hanging on the front door? The truth is that areas in your home that are cluttered will just continue to attract more clutter.
The key here is to be watchful of what you bring into your home. I have two large trash cans in my garage. This is where I put trash before I enter my home. I do not leave anything in my car that does not need to stay there and when I do take items inside, I quickly put them where they belong.
Ask yourself if the items you plan to save will actually be useful and if so, in how much time. If you will read a paper soon, immediately place it where it might be read; beside a bed, on your desk, or in the toilet area where you might have some quiet reading time. After it is read, either dispose of it or file it where you will be able to retrieve the information as needed.
Another common clutter magnet is accepting items being disposed of by others. Whether it is clothing, old computer games, books, or unused stationery, take the time to consider not accepting it. I am all about repurposing items and saving money, but you must gain control of what you already have before you bring more into your home.
Senior citizens sometimes contact me asking for help de-cluttering, purging, and organizing their homes. They have begun to realize that all of the things they have brought into their homes will be inherited by their children and grandchildren. Often the valuable family treasures get lost in the mass of clutter.
Make it a goal this year to be conservative and conscientious about the number of things you accept, pick up, and purchase. This will create a home with far less piles of clutter to manage. Less really does mean more when it comes to organized space. Less clutter means more usable space for everyday activities and less time wasted moving piles from one place to another. So as you are bombarded with advertising, samples, and treats during the holiday season, consider saying no or discarding them before you even enter your home.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and president and founder of “Get Organized!” “Get Organized!” is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. “Get Organized!” specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes for moms as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.
A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox , and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, Mercator.net, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. Additionally, Lorraine has shared the stage with stars from HGTV and DYI Network at the Great Big Texas Home Show at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. To obtain more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.