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Everyday Cheapskate: How Clearing Out Clutter Can Improve Your Life

Mary Hunt on

Getting organized is like dieting. Everyone knows how to do it, but the problem is getting around to it -- to clearing out clutter, cleverly organizing what remains and then maintaining the results.

When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, I emptied every cupboard and drawer, carefully labeling every box and bin with its contents. That process alone ran a few red flags up the pole. I found things I'd forgotten completely. When it was time to put everything back, I decided to put things away as I actually used them -- not with the mindset that I might need them someday.

I quickly realized why it was such a problem to keep the kitchen neat and tidy. It is impossible to organize chaos. I needed to clear out everything first. Funny how that cleared my mind as well.

Getting rid of the unused items that obviously had become unnecessary created space to organize the essentials.


Face it. If you don't have enough closet, drawer and storage space to comfortably handle your possessions, you probably own too many things. Give away; pare down. Let your rooms, closets and drawers appear serene and controlled.


There's no single "right" way to organize your possessions and home. Organization must fit your style, energy and schedule. Find a system that functions best for you and your family.


No matter the way you do it, let this be your mantra: Eliminate and concentrate. Say it over and over. Then say it some more.

Eliminate: I will admit to this being very difficult for me. I have this thing in my head that says someday I'll need it. It's worth a lot. It has value. After all, the power grid might go down any second, and these candle stubs could save the day. Just articulating those words makes me laugh and prompts me to do the right thing: eliminate any way I can.


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