Tuesday, August 19, 2014

31 day$ to a Le$$ Cluttered Life #1

I'm inclined to agree with my dear Daughter, Alayna, who says a new school year is almost better than the New Year we celebrate on January 1 for starting new habits and shedding old...SO it is to that sentiment that this post is dedicated.
Here is my list of suggestions to de-clutter your life in 31 days or less.  If you employ one of these each day for a month, you'll have a less cluttered life and all of the benefits that go with that!

1)  Stash the Trash

When papers come home from school or in the mail employ the TOUCH ONCE and be done policy.
Note from the teacher?  Read and Sign it and place it back in Juniors backpack.
Reminder notice for the PTA meeting next week?  Put it on your family calendar and in your phones calendar and throw the paper away.
If you get these reminders electronically you can employ the same habit.

Art work from your preschool students?  Place in a "pizza box" labeled with the name of the child and the year.  These stack nicely and you can find them years later when Junior goes off to college.   Use these to create greeting cards or wrapping paper for grandparents or far-flung relatives.

My boxes, pictured at right are actually 12x12 scrapbook paper boxes.

2)  Clean out the Junk Drawer:
Get rid of those pens that no longer work or markers that have dried up.
Can't identify the key and it won't fit any doors you have?  Toss or (as I do) use in a Steam Punk art project. If you aren't crafty you could still donate to your high school art teacher (trust me on this...she will be glad to get your cast offs).
Address book?  Enter the information into your phone.
Sequester your rubber bands in a box or Ziploc bag.  Place paperclips in a magnetic holder, put stamps and address labels in a plastic envelope to keep them usable.
Some dollar store divided boxes help keep the clutter at bay.

 3)  New School year always means exposure to more germs, colds and viruses.  Take this opportunity to clean out your medicine chest or drawer and dispose of any outdated or expired  medicines.  At a minimum,make sure you have a thermometer, band aids, hydro cortisone cream, benadryl, pain relief and perhaps a cold/flu medicine on hand for those middle of the night emergencies.  

4)  If back to school means shopping for new clothes to your family then use this time to purge the closet and drawers.  If the kids didn't wear the garment  in the last 12 months or it no longer fits , it goes into my consignment box or donate (if it is worn, stained or out of style).  Many charities are able to use bulk garments even if they are not suitable for wear-so I never throw these items in the trash.  Stained and mismatched socks-GONE!  Worn shoes are donated to Edge ministries to help fund clean water in those areas in need.  If it is missing a button and I KNOW I don't have the replacement or won't fix it then it is recycled.  The only exception to my recycling of clothing rule is that old undies are tossed in the garbage!

Clothing, jewelry, shoes, purses, coats, etc. are taken to a local consignment store that pays for my STASH in CASH.  The items they reject are then consigned to a sale hosted by my church.  Anything that doesn't sell does NOT come home but is donated.

The closet purge is completed when old bent or broken hangers are pitched in the trash

5)  Bathroom Drawers are cleaned out of broken hair-ties, half used lip-gloss and the dried up nail polish.  If I am feeling really motivated, I may reline these drawers with new shelf paper.  Half empty bottles are consolidated or discarded.  Hairbrushes are washed and cleaned of that hairball and readied for use.

We make a list of any new makeup that might be required and add to our back to school shopping list.

Pick a start date
Set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one of these clutter busters
When the time rings, you're done fro the day.
Check back for 5 more tips in my next post.

Happy Purging!

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