To keep or toss? Ask yourself:
- Have I used this item in the past year?
- Will I need it on a definite date in the future?
- Do I need to keep it for legal or tax purposes?
- Would it be difficult to get another if I needed it again someday?
- If you answer no to every question, toss it.
- Or more simply put: If you don’t love it and don’t need it, get rid of it!
Tips from The One-Minute Organizer – Plain & Simple – by Donna Smallin
- Decide to play by the rule: if it’s ugly or unfixable, it’s out of there.
- Things have a useful life, and then they become useless. Sure, you can use an old T-shirt as a rag, but do you really need another rag? Give yourself permission to get rid of it.
- If a stack of paper in a folder is more than 1-inch thick, separate the stack into two folders.
- Set up workstations for activities such as handling mail and bills, sewing, hobbies, and laundry. Organize your workstation with all the supplies you need.
- Label everything: folders, home, videos, boxes, bins, binders, shelves. Use marker or a label maker to create neatly lettered, easy-to-read labels.
- There’s a difference between being organized and being neat and tidy. Stashing stuff in drawers and putting folders and papers in tidy stacks isn’t necessarily organized. Always choose organized over neat.
- Place a pretty dish on dresser tops and nightstands to collect jewelry, loose change, and pocket paraphernalia.
- On a tight budget? Try these no cost ideas for kids: Ask for a clean large pizza box to use as a child’s artwork portfolio that can be stored under a bed, and use some of the artwork to decorate their rooms.
- Before you set something down, ask yourself, “is this where it belongs?” If not, take an extra minute or two to put it in its place.
- Designate a family donation box for collecting items throughout the year. When the box is full, take it to a local charity.
- Don’t buy something because it is on sale. Buy because you need it.
- Keep remote controls and small ‘cluttery’ items in a decorative basket or tin on a shelf where you will see only the container.
- Don’t think of uncluttering as getting rid of stuff. Think of it as giving to someone who needs it more than you, or as recycling.
- Do not save things to sell at a garage or yard sale unless you have set a definite date for that sale. Donate those items instead.
- Take a photograph of sentimental items before parting with them.
- Accept that you can’t control life by holding on to things. The secret is to let go.
For more tips and design ideas, go to my blog for more regular updates.