Out with the old
by MELISSA SNYDER, Banner Lifestyles Writer
Jan 16, 2011 | 1598 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
January can be the jump-start to a lot of things. One of them can be to get organized. Thank goodness, too. Face it: The busyness from November to New Year’s can keep the calendar crowded and the house can get overlooked. Along with the season comes lots of comfort food, which seems to slow us down a little. Who wants to organize and clean with a fully belly?

With the taking down of the tree and the other Christmas decorations, I go into “clean, cut clutter and get organized mode.” Seems as if I am not the only one. I’ve seen several magazine articles and home television shows giving tips and ideas.

Some clutter-free ideas I found from Cynthia Ewer, editor of Organized Home got me going in the right direction. She suggests the “Santa’s Rule — Get One, Toss Two” which means for every new gift, give two things away. She also says to tidy up when we put gifts away. For example, for every Snuggie you acquire, remove two of something in the location you store your Snuggies and give those items way. If you received another set of Christmas house shoes, give a couple of your old ones away. How many festive sweaters does one person need anyway?

Start a donation bag and by the time you are finished organizing and decluttering it will be full of some things to donate to The Salvation Army family store. Whether you chose to sell the giveaway items, recycle them or donate them, they will be someone else’s treasure and you will be well on your way to a more organized home.

Creating a plan of action first can lead to a path of success. For me the hardest part is getting started. Once you are set on “go,” create a list of the areas that need an organizational pick-me-up. Do one at a time. When the area is complete, marking it off your list will bring about a feeling of satisfaction and fuel the fire to continue on with the tidy mission.

We all know clutter is uneasy on the eyes, but not everyone realizes it can create stress and the experts say it can even be unhealthy due to the allergens and extra dust.

Ellen Martin, organizing consultant for TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” believes “free space frees the mind.” Now that’s a good motivator to keep in mind while you are on the road to an organized way of living.