The Clutter Wars

With summer behind us and in looking forward to a bit cooler temperatures (And of course, the Holidays, family visits and friendly gatherings at home), I would like to share with you some great tips on how to de-clutter and organize your home.


The first step in winning the Clutter Wars is to de-bug your own mind! Most of us do not recognize clutter when it falls out of the closet into our heads, so how can we conquer it? Let’s start by defining what clutter is. Clutter is anything in your home:

**That is out of place

**That is broken

**That you have not used in more than a year

**That you have not worn in more than a year

**That you dislike

Now don’t panic….I am not saying for you to throw away everything that falls within the above definitions of clutter. BUT..once you get a clear picture in your head of what constitutes clutter you will be better able to deal with it!!

Now, you start in one small space like a closet or junk drawer, and put things in order. Have a large trash can and 4 boxes labeled:





Now begin selecting the objects and decide what goes into each…

The Trash-You’ll find plenty of stuff that is absolutely unusable…BE RUTHLESS.

The PUT AWAY-Anything goes in here that is out of place or better off in a different location. When you are done, take the 10 minutes to put them where they really belong!

The FIX-Any items damaged or missing parts, but you are certain that you would use it if it were repaired. If you do not repair it within a week to 10 days, it goes to the SET FREE box…

The SET FREE-All items you dislike, haven’t used, orphaned gifts from friends and family (when you said “Oh, you really shouldn’t have!”), things that still have some good use, things that “will surely fit again someday”.  This box goes into the trunk of your car to take to your local resale store or charity center.

Many charities will even be happy to pick it up at your front door-what convenience! You will be doing a good thing, since someone will be getting some good out of

these items right now.


 The “Mementos” box- This one can be a bit tricky. It’s for things that

have true sentimental or family heirloom value. You will want to

invest in a cedar chest or other similar sized permanent storage unit.

The items from this box will go into that permanent storage. But

remember, that cedar heirloom chest will fill up rapidly if you are too

casual about “what’s an heirloom.” Consider passing on some of these

things to extended family members right now—don’t wait 20 years!


Now you are one closet or drawer closer to having a serene, uncluttered home! Next week, take this same process and tackle another corner of the house!


Penny Womack,

Realtor, ABR, SFR