From 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter by Emilie Barnes
The Family Communication Center
Hang a bulletin board, pegboard, racks, or other wall-mounted storage where it can be seen by all members of your family. This will become your home “communication center.” Messages can be sent, messages can be received, and messages can be displayed here.
Other helpful supplies to keep in this area include a dry erase board, a calendar, a list of important phone numbers, and a key holder.
Encourage your family to use this area by leaving special notes or treats for them to pick up every now and then. This center is really helpful to have in place when babysitters and houseguests are over.
Be sure to write a nice greeting on the white board for your guests, or pin a greeting card and their guest keys to the bulletin board.
Purge the Paper Piles
Get rid of extra paper. Almost 90 percent of all paper in your home and office is never referred to again. That’s a staggering amount of paper!
Choose a room, any room, and there is probably a pile of paper stashed in a drawer, cupboard, or even loose on furniture surfaces.
In the kitchen you might have recipes, cooking articles, and grocery lists piling up. In your office school papers, bills, and receipts gather. Your bedroom ends up being a place for scraps of reminder notes and magazines to accumulate.
Pick a room and go straight for the papers. Allow yourself to keep only a few pieces, maybe five, and toss the rest. Yes, you can keep more if they are important.
However, if it’s a piece you haven’t referred to in a while, won’t need anymore, or mean to read but never will…it goes. Toss at least ten times the amount of stuff you keep. Your rooms will look and feel so much better—and so will you.
Smart Storage Solutions
Sometimes all it takes to eliminate mess, clutter, and confusion are a few hooks here, a basket or two there, and reshuffling items on a shelf. Take a look around your house. Do you have trunks, chests, or baskets that could be used for storage? All of these can look quite lovely in a room while storing blankets, books, DVDs, and other items.
If the piece is large like a trunk and mainly serves as a table or TV stand, then only store items in it that you don’t need regularly, such as heavy blankets or seasonal decorations.
Take a look at where the most clutter gathers in your home. Then see if one of the storage pieces you already have could ease the mess. If not, measure the area or wall space and go visit one of those great stores that specialize in storage units.
With only a few key pieces, you can reform most any cluttered corner. The storage store will also give you ideas for using the baskets, boxes, and chests that you already have.
Many banks offer bill-paying services to their customers. You can use your computer to communicate with the bank. Each bank has its own format and the remote services are usually easy to set up for home use. This little helper will free you up from having to spend time writing and mailing all your bill payments each month.
How much of your paper pile up is related to financial records? It’s amazing how many bank statements, reports, and paycheck stubs end up in the bedroom or on the kitchen table instead of in a file drawer in a home office or office area!
If you don’t know what to save or shred, learn what to keep and where to keep it. Separate “permanent” records from “current” records and place permanent documents in a safe-deposit box. File the current records at home using a file system that makes sense to you. Be sure to tell someone where you store your records.
Commit to record-keeping each week. There. It really can be that simple. Weekly maintenance is easier than a complete overhaul once a year!
Your attitude is one of the most useful tools available in your desire to clean out what is cluttered and make a difference in your home or work environment. This is especially true if one of your biggest obstacles is lack of motivation.
If you look around and see a mess or a setting that doesn’t suit your lifestyle, taste, or your family’s growing needs, don’t be discouraged. And don’t let laziness or lack of motivation stop you from making a change for the better.
“Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering” (Proverbs 13:4).
Be one of the diligent, one of the prosperous ones. Turn your negative attitude into an internal dialogue that is encouraging, supportive, and energetic. Start your day by congratulating yourself on the effort you made the day before.
Look at the cupboard you organized or the corner you finally cleared of shoes and baseball caps. Celebrate the small steps—your attitude will continue to inspire more and more effort.
“Reality has a way of wearing the shine off of a once gleaming romance, but don’t let it get in the way of your love for a second! If you haven’t already, you can start by giving up on the question, “What’s in it for me?” and replace the question with, “What can I offer?” Every time that you work through any obstacles with patience, humility, and kindness you are building and strengthening your bond of love.” – Darlene Schacht, The Good Wife’s Guide
Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children
“I’ve long been wanting a book on various virtues to help my children become better Catholics. But most books focused on the virtues make being bad seem funny or attractive in order to teach the child a lesson. I’ve always found them to be detrimental to the younger ones who’s logic hasn’t formed. This book does an awesome job in showing a GOOD example in each of the children with all the various struggles children commonly struggle with (lying, hiding things, being grumpy, you name it.) But this book isn’t JUST virtue training… it’s also just sweet little chats about our love for God, God’s greatness, etc…
And the best thing of all? They are SHORT! I have lots of books that are wonderful, but to be honest I rarely pick them up because I just don’t have the time to read a huge, long story. These are super short, just one page, and very to the point. The second page has a poem, picture, a short prayer and a few questions for the kids to get them thinking. It works really, really well right before our bedtime prayers and only takes a few minutes at most.
If you like ‘Leading the Little ones to Mary’ then you will like these… they are a little more focused on ALL age groups, not just little ones… so are perfect for a family activity even through the teenage years, down to your toddler.”
That first picture is sooooooooooo funny!!!! I felt that way last night! :):):)
Very good reminders, thank you!