Garage sales

5 Simple Tools To Cut Clutter

I’m always looking for simple ways to cut clutter from my home. It doesn’t come naturally for me. Even routines and habits don’t seem to stick if I’m not constantly focusing on them.

So over the years I’ve come up with tools and systems that help me stay on top of the clutter so it doesn’t get a chance to build up too much. When you use these 5 simple tools as part of your decluttering system, they help change your mindset about letting go of things. …

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Now is a Great Time to Have a Garage Sale if You Have Certain Items

It may feel like it’s near the end of the Garage Sale season but now just might be a great time to have a sale.  With all the back to school shopping going on many parents are looking to stretch the budget and will buy some items at a garage sale (see below).

If you live near a university or college those students will be looking for used furniture and other household items to fill their dorm rooms or apartments.

It takes time to put together a big garage sale but if you have a fair amount of the items listed below you might want to consider having a quick garage sale in the next couple of weeks. That way you could take advantage of the back to school rush and clear out some of the clutter from your home. Plus you’ll be able to make a little extra money to help with your own back to school budget, if you have one.

Most schools do not reimburse school teachers for all the supplies, books, and other educational materials they have in their individual classrooms.  I know that at some of my past garage sales I have had teachers, especially new ones, looking for items (books, educational games, etc.) to build up their classroom resources for their students.

So check out the list of items below and if you have a fair amount of them you no longer use, consider planning a garage sale as soon as possible.

Children’s Items

  • children clothes – all sizes, but especially grade school
  • school supplies – new or slightly used
    1. backpacks
    2. lunch boxes/bags
    3. crayons, markers, pencils, pens
    4. 3-ring binders, pocket folders, notebook paper, erasers
    5. children’s books – good for building child’s home library and teachers like to purchase for their classrooms.
    6. calculators, rulers, staplers, etc.
  • educational learning toys and games

Household Items

  • small scale furniture – for small apartments or dorm rooms
  • kitchen supplies – for apartments and dorm rooms
    1. microwaves – usually small ones
    2. toaster ovens and hot plates (some dorms don’t allow these)
    3. dishes, silverware, pots, pans, mixing bowls, etc.
  • linens such as towels, sheets, comforters, etc.

Advertise the Sale

There are a lot of online sites to advertise your sale for free. Google your city and garage sales to help you find some local sites. You can also put an ad in your local paper.  You might be able to post a note about the sale in your local grocery store if they have a bulletin board for sale items.

To a lighter load along the way.


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Back To School Organizing

It’s already the middle of July. The stores are stocked up with back-to-school supplies. The TV and newspaper ads are bombarding us about all the things our children “need” in order to have a great year.

Before you rush out and buy all those things be sure to check what you already have at home. Last year’s backpack may still work. Their school clothes may still fit , at least the ones to start off the school year with. They may have enough left over supplies that you only need to buy a few new ones.

Now is the time to take inventory so you can figure out what they will need and how much. It will be a lot easier if you first declutter what they don’t need or can’t use anymore.

Below are some steps to help you declutter. Then I have listed some options on how to get rid of the clutter in fun ways for you and your children.

Decluttering Steps:

  1. Go through all their clothes. Pull out any that do not fit or they won’t wear. Last year’s favorite style may make them feel like they will die of embarrassment if they wear it this year.
  2. Any clothes that are wearable but need repair should be put in a separate pile. Mending can be done while watching TV.
  3. Go through school supplies. Take inventory of what you have from last year that is still usable. Make a list of what each child needs (elementary schools usually provide a basic list). Mark off what you already have. What’s left is the shopping list.
  4. Go through their books. Have them pull out all the ones they have outgrown and are willing to part with. See below for a fun way to recycle the books.

Options on How To Clear out the above items:

  1. A garage sale is a good way to get rid of the outgrown clothes, school supplies, and books. The money you make can help buy new clothes and supplies. If you are interested in having a garage sale before school begins check out my eBook, “Decluttering With A Garage Sale”.
  2. A children’s book exchange is another fun way to clear out some clutter. This can be done in your neighborhood, church group, or other group you and your children belong to. School supplies can also be exchanged. A simple method to do this is explained in this article “Declutter Children’s Books With a Book Exchange”.

Although decluttering the previous year’s school papers won’t help with taking inventory it’s still a good idea to do it now if you didn’t at the end of the school year. You’ll make room for all the new papers that will soon be coming in.  Plus, as your children go through the old papers it will refresh their young minds as to what they learned the past year.  This article will give you some tips on it, “Decluttering Children’s School Papers”.

To a lighter load along the way.



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New Look: Clean and Simple

After three years of the same theme I have decided it was time to clean up and simplify the look of my blog.  The brighter cleaner look makes me want to write more about decluttering and organizing. It’s motivating to share those tips on a simple looking blog.  I hope you find it easier to read also.

I’m still working on tweaking it to make it more user friendly.  I’m always open to suggestions if you have any.

I did want to let you know that the picture in the header above is of the Grand Basin in Forest Park, St. Louis, MO.  This is keeping with the theme of vacationing in your own town. I’m lucking to have this park and many others around to take advantage of during nice weather.

Of course St. Louis is in the middle of a heat spell like most of the mid-west and southern states.  That’s when indoor options or cooling water options work best. If you’re trying to keep those out-of-school children busy be sure to check out your local museums, bowling alleys, swimming pools, or movie theaters.

There is always the sprinkler in the backyard to help keep them cool, active, and out of trouble for a little while. It’s clean and simple. Just don’t run the sprinkler in one place for too long or the clean part will end up a muddy mess!

Please let me know how you like the new look of this blog. If you don’t already get blog post updates in you email you can sign up here.


P.S.  If you are planning a garage sale this summer you’ll want to get this eBook first. Learn how to use the garage sale as a tool to help you clear out a lot of clutter from your home.  Check it out here:

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Vacation In Your Own Hometown

The 4th of July is over. Back to school doesn’t get into high gear for 4-6 weeks depending on where you live and grade level. So how are you planning to spend the next 4 plus weeks?

This is the time of year where many families take vacations. But sometimes it’s just too expensive to go anywhere. Or maybe one or both parents can’t take the time off from work. That doesn’t mean your are destined to have a long boring summer.

Learn how to vacation in your own hometown!

Get organized by first creating a Summer Planner.

It’s not too late to do that. 

What you need:

  1. 3-ring binder. Size: 1/2 inch thick to 2-3 inches. It depends on how many different things you have going on during the summer.
  2. Dividers to create different sections. Pocket dividers work great so you have a place to put any pamphlets or other info in them.
  3. Notebook paper to write down info.

What to do to set up and organize the planner:

  1. Label all the sections you need or want. Examples:
    1. Vacations
    2. Summer Camps
    3. Local Attractions (Free and paid)
    4. Rainy day activities
    5. Sunny day activities
  2. Start researching ideas for each section. Google you city or one near by and the following topics. Either print out the information you like or write on the notebook paper the sites to check into later.
    1. Museums
    2. Festivals
    3. Parks and special activities and/or events
    4. Mini vacation spots, either overnight or one day vacations
    5. Rainy day projects – art activities, scrapbooking, decluttering, redecorating a room, etc.

Be sure to include your family when researching and creating this notebook. They will be more enthusiastic about partaking in these activities and excursions. Set a day each week to plan out what they want to do and where they want to go during the next week or two. Be flexible with your plans. It’s okay to change activities on any given day as long as everyone agrees. Don’t forget to leave some days each week for good old lazy boring days. We all need those sometimes!

Here are some sites to with more ideas for things to do. – Summer Vacation – Summer Ideas – free summer ideas for kids




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