Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hints From Heloise from Good Housekeeping

This is an article from the September 2004 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine by Heloise. The title of the article is "Take Control of Clutter" and is available online. This is what Heloise has to say about decluttering.

"Getting rid of stuff seems to be the chore we all dread. But when closets are crowded, drawers are jumbled, and shelves overflow, it can really slow you down. Every day I try to focus on just one or two areas (like kitchen counters) that drive me crazy. These clutter-busting hints will help you dejunk your space — which will save you time and stress."

The following list actually comes at the end of the article but it seems to me to be a good place to start. It is a list that includes red flags that let you know when clutter has become a problem that is affecting your life and quick tips to get started and gain some control.

1. If you can't find what you need within minutes, it's time for a reality check.

2. Get everyone in your family on the decluttering/organizing bandwagon.

3. If the countertop or table surface isn't visible, take action ASAP.

4. Establish a specific place for the things you use every day — hooks for keys, a basket for catalogs, etc.

5. Always give the living room a quick pickup before bedtime.

6. Be relentless in tossing out papers — newspapers, magazines, junk mail.

7. Make lists of household staples, with their expiration dates, so you'll know what you really need.

8. Every time you bring something new into the house, try to make sure something old goes out.

9. On a regular basis, deal with your garbage gremlins, such as grocery bags, takeout containers, chipped drinking glasses, soap shards, dead batteries, rubber bands, and dried-up pens.

10. If you aren't using it, get rid of it!

The article includes a few lists of what you can do based on the amount of time you have to declutter. Today I will give you the things Heloise suggests you can get done if you only have a few minutes. The section is called: Finding Time to Toss It!

If you have five minutes...

1. Chuck crummy sponges and outdated cleaning products lingering in your kitchen; clear old leftovers out of the fridge and pitch any expired foods found in the pantry.

2. Do a TV-room makeover. I call this method "TVC": During TV commercials, quickly tidy up the room you're in. Gather all the magazines, newspapers, and bits of trash and put them in the garbage. Straighten pillows and refold throws. Organize your worktable. On the next program break, you can even give the den a quick vacuum.

3. Throw away old cosmetics and expired medicines in the vanity drawer or the cabinet over the sink. Sort bath towels and washcloths for laundering or the rag bag.

4. Weed out toys and games that haven't been used recently. If they are in good condition, you can donate them to a shelter, a hospital or a school.

5. Gather misplaced belongings in a holding basket; later, ask family members to claim their possessions and put them away.

Find this article at:

In my next blog I will include the remainder of the article which gives you some one hour tasks.

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