October 2014
The Anticrastination Tip Sheet
From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

The secret to successful decluttering is this: You will never get organized if you don’t have a vision for the life you want... Ask, "Does this thing create that vision or get in the way of that vision? If it does, hold on to it with all your life. If it doesn’t, why is it in your home?"  ~~ Peter Walsh

Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! There is great freedom in simplicity of living. It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.  ~~ Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Lisette Norman)

Message from Rita
                                           RANDOM CLUTTER TIPS

Got "Random Clutter" here, there and everywhere?

Here are 18 Random Clutter Tips. Yes, I've given you clutter tips in the past. These are new. They're random. Try them. You might like them.

  1. Designate one receptacle for snail mail.
    Put a box or basket near where the mail is brought in. Or hang a mail holder on the side of a table or kitchen counter. Teach everyone to put ALL mail into it. If kids plop the mail where it doesn't belong, walk the children to the plopped stuff, have them pick it up and walk them to the mail receptacle. (Usually you need to do this only 3 times per child)
  2. Always open your mail next to the recycling bin so you can immediately toss junk mail.
  3. When buying electronics, download the manual and store it in the cloud.
    Uploading an electronic copy to the cloud keeps you covered in case the manufacturer stops producing the item and takes the manual down from their site. Reduces paper clutter and is pretty clever, don't you think?
  4. Use shower curtain hooks on your closet rod.
    The hooks take up less space than hangers. And it’s a great way to compartmentalize the things in your closet that don’t have a place — scarves, belts, bags.
  5. Utilize your under-desk space.
     Put the stuff that you need to keep nearby but don't use often into boxes and store it underneath.
  6. When cleaning the bedroom, always make the bed first.
    Lots of reasons. 1) It provides a flat spot for organizing and folding, 2) you’ll be less likely to collapse into bed and take a nap in the middle of your clutter-busting, and 3) your messy stuff will look weird and out of place once the bed is all neat.
  7. Fold your bedsheets up and stuff them in a matching pillowcase.
  8. On a super hot day, clean out your fridge and freezer.
    Pretty cool thing to do.
  9. Go through your closets and ask: "If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?"
  10. When you have stuff too good to toss so you want to donate it, set up a box or big plastic bag in a designated spot such as a closet or corner of the garage.
    That way, when any family member is ready to get rid of things they don't need or use any more, they have a place to put it.
  11. Use small boxes for small things in drawers you need to keep organized, like batteries or rubber bands.
  12. Every time you pass a stack of paper or clutter, process five things.
    By process, I mean recycle, toss, donate, or put it where it belongs. (If it doesn't have a place to belong, it automatically becomes clutter. That's a fact. So don't put it back into the stack of clutter. Make a place for it to belong.)
  13. Use a sock to store those unwieldy cords.
  14. If you are pretty good at getting rid of things you don't need or use, but you keep bringing in more clutter, stop it.
    That's right. Stop spending money you probably can't afford … to bring more stuff into your life that you don’t need or use … that will simply add to your clutter, stacks of stuff, guilt, stress and anxiety.
  15. Get realistic about your books.
    Yes, there are some that you will read again, or refer to or simply NEED to keep. And there are many more that you will never ever read, look at, want or miss. You can say good-bye to those and the world will not end and you will still be a good person. Honest.
  16. Find ways to get rid of your old books.
    1. Donate to your local library. Often they have book sales to earn money to buy what they need.
    2. Give books away to family and friends you believe would enjoy them.
    3. Sell your old textbooks for a little extra cash.
    4. For cookbooks, only keep the ones with a large number of recipes you plan on making. If there’s only a couple of useable recipes, scan them and set up a recipe file on your computer.
  17. Each time you buy a new item of clothing, get rid of one.
    "A tie for a tie, a shoe for a shoe"
  18. Try not to add to other's clutter. Give only gifts that people want or can use.
    Take a friend or relative out to eat for their birthdays. Give a membership to a museum or zoo. Offer to spend 2 hours with them clutter-busting. This cuts down on gifts that turn into clutter and people might learn to give you the same thoughtfulness..

Dear Rita,
The poem, Toast to an Empty Garage, (June 2014) is one of your best poem’s ever! Yes, “every object has a vibration”. And if the vibration isn’t needed, isn’t loved, isn’t energizing me, then, it’s time.... I get the message!
A simple example. Amongst my bottles of spices/herbs until today there was a bottle of arrowroot (a thickening agent) that I remember buying for a recipe I wanted to follow. I used it only once. That was in Ottawa, i.e., prior to 1986! I never used it again, but I held on to it because some day, some day, a recipe might call for it again. As of noon today, IT’S GONE!
Jo in Toronto 


Please share this Tip Sheet with 2 or 3 friends who would be interested. And feel free to use this message in your blog or newsletter, as long as you include my bio and contact info:

Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018

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