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Prevent Holiday Clutter Build-up

This is the time of year where all kinds of clutter can build up. Excess food treats, lots of Christmas decorations, too many gifts, etc. These are some of the things that make the holidays fun. But when we over-indulge in any of these things we could end up with extra pounds on our bodies, wasted food, too many decorations to store, and more gifts than we know what to do with. In other words, we could be adding to our clutter!

Here are some tips to help prevent Holiday clutter build-up:

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  • If you have a hard time resisting food treats learn to be choosey. Only eat the ones that are special to you.
  • Freeze and/or hide the cookies and candies you are saving for the parties. Out of sight, out of mind, will help control the temptations.

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  • Go through your stored Christmas decorations before shopping for new ones. Less chance of buying something you already have.
  • Get rid of any decorations that are broken or you don’t like anymore. That will make room for a few new ones.

Christmas presents

  • Make a list of everyone you need or want to buy a gift for. Put a dollar limit and some ideas next to each name.
  • If you have a large family consider drawing names to limit the amount of gifts you need to buy.
  • Consider one nice gift as opposed to multiple small gifts for an individual.
  • Consider one large gift (TV, vacation, etc.) for the whole family instead of individual gifts.

Taking a few precautions and writing out some plans won’t ruin the holiday’s for you. You can still have fun, just don’t overdo it or when January rolls around you may have a lot of new clutter to deal with!

Janice

P.S.  Please share your tips on how you control the clutter during the holidays. Leave a comment below. Thanks.

Changing Fall Colors

I changed the banner above to reflect some of the colors and events that happen during September. Every year there is the Great Forest Park Balloon Race here in St. Louis. There are some neat photos on the site but I think my photo is pretty good also.  I plan on going to this year’s race this Sat. and hope to get some more great pictures.

Anyway, all the photos above were taken at Forest Park over the last couple of years during the month of September.

Now is a good time to get out your cameras and head to a local park. As nature creates her collage of changing colors you just may capture that great photo to print and hang as a fall decoration.

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With the days getting shorter and cooler it’s time to change the decorations inside and out. The mums, pansies and other cool weather plants are showing up at the garden centers. Dig out the tired leggy summer plants and plant up a few of the fall plants. Just adding a couple of pots of golden or purple mums by your front door will brighten the entrance.

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Towards October the gourds, pumpkins, and colored corn will be at the stores. These make clutter free decorations because you either compost them or throw them away after the season is over.  If you decorate for Halloween and/or Thanksgiving these kind of things will blend right in with your other decorations. In fact, with the natural, seasonal items you’ll need fewer items that need to be stored for 10 plus months of the year.

In my last blog post I told you about my Halloween eBook.  It is now available on Amazon for the Kindle and on Barnes and Noble for the Nook.  On my sales page I have the link for Amazon already up but I’m waiting for the link for Barnes and Noble. It’s also available as a PDF for your PC.  In the chapter on decorating I talk about some of the ideas above. If you decorate for Halloween then it’s not too early to purchase the eBook. Start with the fall decorating and build on that.

Learn more about what the eBook has in it here:  http://organizebythemonth.com/how-to-have-a-fun-safe-and-decluttered-halloween-2/

 

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice

Declutter Before You Shop

We’ve all heard the saying “Shop till you drop”  But I think a better one is “Declutter before you shop”.  Okay, I know it doesn’t rhyme but it will help keep the clutter under control. If you get rid of the old before bringing in anything new you’ll stay one step ahead of clutter build-up.

Containers014Also if you “declutter before you shop” you’ll know before you go to the store what is needed to fill in your wardrobe or finish your decorating. At the grocery store you’ll already know what ingredients you have on the shelf and what you need. You won’t buy a duplicate of something that can go bad or expire before it is used.

 

So before you start your autumn clothes shopping go through last year’s wardrobe.  Get rid of the clothes you didn’t wear because:

  1. They no longer fit.
  2. You don’t like them.
  3. They are worn out.

Create a list of what you need or want before you go shopping.  This will help reduce the impulse buying (future clutter?).

Before heading to the grocery store get rid of the expired ingredients and put them on your shopping list. Check your recipes and weekly menu and put what you need on the list also.  Then you won’t need to make that extra last minute trip to the store.

So save time, money, and clutter by following the saying, “Declutter before you shop” instead of “Shop till you drop”.  You’ll be glad you did.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice

Paper Clutter Challenge – Home Inventory List

For the month of May I’m challenging myself to get my paper clutter under control. I’m going to use the information in the eBook “Cut Out The Paper Clutter” to guide me.

With all the tornados destroying homes in the Midwest and South this Spring I realized it was time to update my own inventory list. So that is where I’m starting.

Please join me in this challenge by following along. Be sure to leave a comment to let me know how you are doing.

Once completed this list will give me peace of mind in case of a disaster. It can also be used as a quick and clutter free reference for important information for warranty purposes. A second copy of this list should always be kept off premises preferably in a safe deposit box.

Creating this list can be overwhelming especially if you’ve accumulated many things over the years.

That’s why I suggest you start with taking a photo inventory first then work towards creating a written list.

Here are some great reasons for taking the time to create this list.

  • Both a photo and written inventory list can help with getting reimbursed from the insurance company in case of a disaster.
  • You get to see your possessions through the eyes of a camera. It doesn’t lie!
  • Both the photos and written list can help you recognize your abundance.
  • The photos can help you see what is clutter and what is not.

Week 1 Challenge

To keep from getting overwhelmed I’m only working on one floor at a time.

I’m happy to report that many of my pictures showed that at least some of my rooms, cabinets, and closets are under control. It will be easy to do the written inventory list later. Not everything needs to be on the written list.

The good dishes in the dinning room will be easy to inventory.

The kitchen cabinets aren’t too bad either. The photo will be all that I need. Nothing too valuable here.

The pantry may not have significant things to inventory but a picture speaks a thousand words. It needs some organizing!

Again not a significant area for a detail written list. However, a good decluttering and organizing will make it easier to know what is worth replacing in case of a disaster.

My next step in this challenge will be to take pictures of the upstairs bedrooms and the finished basement. Then I’ll start the written inventory list. Of course, the more I declutter the less I’ll have to write down.

Now that sounds like a good incentive to get rid of things!

Be sure to check back on this blog for the next report.

You can sign up to receive the updates through email on the right sidebar. ——>

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice

The Home Inventory List is just one part of the eBook, “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”. You can see a list of the other chapters here. I’ve also extended the special sale price during the month of May while doing this paper clutter challenge.

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Miracle Friday

I hope everyone had a good Passover or Easter holiday this past week. Last weekend was a wild one here in the mid-west with all the tornadoes and thunderstorms. Now we are looking at potential flooding.

Many people in the St. Louis area are labeling last Friday as “Miracle Friday” because despite a tornado that took a 25 mile path of destruction through the northern part of the area there weren’t any fatalities or even serious injuries.

People heeded the warning sirens and sought out proper shelter.

I can’t even image coming out of my basement to find my home completely destroyed like the one below.

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You can view a lot more pictures of the damage on the KSDK news site.

When looking at these pictures I get a renewed sense of what is important in life. Sometimes we put an unrealistic importance on our material possessions. Most can be replaced, the lives of our loved ones can’t.

It’s something to think about when the clutter builds up in our homes and we continue to come up with excuses to keep it.

Of course if a disaster should occur to your home it would help to be prepared to handle the aftermath. That means having the important papers you need to expedite the insurance coverage and replacement of any other important things you may need.

I think it’s time for me to re-evaluate the precautions I have or have not taken regarding my household inventory (needs updating) and other important papers. I need to go over the chapters in my eBook again and make sure everything is ready in case of a disaster.

I have decide to make this a challenge for me during the month of May.  I will work my way through my papers and household inventory and post about it on this blog. Why don’t you join me in this challenge?

Ways you can join me:

Follow this blog and post comments. You can receive updates through email here.

Follow the blog through my Facebook Page along with getting other tips there. http://www.facebook.com/CutClutterWithScissors

Take the free e-course on paper clutter:  http://cutoutthepaperclutter.com/ecourse/

Purchase the eBook: http://cutoutthepaperclutter.com/

Together we can clean up our paper clutter and have peace of mind should a disaster ever happen. Of course we pray it never does, but just in case.

To a lighter load along the way.

Janice

https://cutclutterwithscissors.com

http://www.facebook.com/CutClutterWithScissors

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