Declutterization! Tips and Tricks!

I've been participating in the Women Living Well Challenge about making your house into a haven for your family and today I was able to laugh a good laugh at the challenge today which made me feel oh sooo GOOD!!! This week's challenge is easier to me than the other 2 previous challenges! DECLUTTERIZATION! And NO I'm not in denial! I have a passion for throwing things away that are broken or never used or are never going to be used again! Take a peek at Courtney's challenge today and if you have issues with clutter - go to it!! And with MY BLESSINGS!!! And if you really need me to, I will come and invade your home and throw or sell or BURN anything you don't need! Ok, maybe I need to rethink that offer! hee hee! I don't want my blog becoming a "let's use Ann to throw away our stuff service!" But seriously, the only clutter I have in my home would have to consist of the toys my kids insist on carting all over my world and leaving in odd places. Or the little things that my hubbie (who really tries - honest!) decides that this little spot right here makes complete sense to stash something away would be called clutter! Or maybe clutter in my home would consist of the stuff in my home that has a special meaning or memory to me. But really, clutter is OUT!!! I have a few rules in my house that has helped me maintain the clutter. Maybe they will help you too! 

1. If it has not been used, touched or thought about for more than 6 months - it's OUT! (YES - six months!!!) 

2. If no one in the family LIKES it - it's OUT!

3. If it irritates or annoys someone in the family (for real - the finger that is poking someone does not count) it's OUT! I'm thinking spousal arguments 

4. If it's broken and cannot be fixed within a WEEK - it's OUT!

5. If it's a book and has not been read or opened in 5 years - it's OUT! (unless it holds pictures - which means you had better do some reminiscing! It's loooong overdue!) 

6. If it's trash or looks like trash - it's OUT! Honestly, moms, I'm talking to you because that little scrap of paper that has a little squiggly line drawn on it by your 2 year old, you don't need to keep it! But if you really really do, make a box for each child and keep those memories IN THE BOX! Then it's NO LONGER CLUTTER - they're memories! 

7. If it hasn't been worn in 3 years - it's OUT! (I say three because you don't want to throw out clothes then find out you're pregnant again and need those clothes again! But use your best judgment or find a friend that you can swap clothes with regularly - my sister has 2 little girls younger than my daughter so our girl clothes have become well used and if I have another baby girl I know where the clothes are and I'll probably get more clothes than I gave my sis in the first place! Works great and saves a TON of MONEY! Same thing with maternity clothes!)

8. When it comes to mail or paperwork or filing, TOUCH it ONCE!!! Take care of it as soon as possible! For example when it comes to paying bills, I open them up and put them in the bill paying slot until it's time to pay them. But I throw away all of the trash or I read the ads if I want to read them WHEN I GET THE MAIL! If I pick up some literature that I want to read, I read it right away then decide if I should keep it or just TOSS it! For the most part, I toss it or pass it on, usually if I want the info again, the internet is at my fingertips! Business cards and magazines are pretty pointless for keeping because if you really want that recipe, look online! Phone numbers of your favorite plumber, store on your cell and get the numbers backed up! NO CLUTTER! 

I think that pretty much wraps it up! My philosophy really comes down to - If I lost all of my possessions in a devastating FIRE would I remember that I lost this item??? If you keep that in perspective, hopefully you will not have that fire but keep it in mind, it DOES happen to people! The things that people miss are the things that really matters to your heart, so if it matters to your heart, keep it tucked away forever! Happy declutterizing! 

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