Dump the junk and sim­plify your life


(NC)—You want a clean or­ga­nized home. No mat­ter how many con­tain­ers or or­ga­niz­ing sys­tems you have, the eas­i­est way to clean is to get rid of un­nec­es­sary stuff.

1. Vi­su­al­ize your space. Fam­i­lies should talk about how they want to use each room and what the goal of this ex­er­cise is for them.

2. Plan it. De­clut­ter­ing seems like a daunt­ing task. Take on one room at a time. Make cat­e­gories about the stuff you have be­fore you be­gin: do­nate, sell, store, keep, trash. Sort your items into five piles. Throw away the trash. Box up the stor­age items. Box up your do­na­tion and sales items and put the 'keep' items back in their proper places.

3. Change your mind. Once you get rid of things you no longer need, it's time to switch the way that you think and only pur­chase things that you need and that you can store. Ask your­self what you re­ally need. No more flea mar­kets or im­pulse pur­chases. Ac­cept other peo­ple's things only if you need them and have a space for them. You will end up sav­ing money, space and clean­ing time in your home.

4. When you pur­chase nec­es­sary items for your home like gro­ceries, linens or clean­ing sup­plies, choose less bulky and easy to store op­tions. For ex­am­ple, Purex Com­plete 3-in1 laun­dry sheets con­tain a load's worth of de­ter­gent, soft­ener and anti-static all in one pow­er­ful sheet. When you drop the laun­dry sheet into the washer, the de­ter­gent is re­leased dur­ing the wash cy­cle. Once the wash is com­plete, you trans­fer the laun­dry sheet along with the clothes into the dryer. The stripe is heat-ac­ti­vated by the dryer to soften and re­move static. In­stead of mul­ti­ple con­tain­ers in your laun­dry room you are left with only one.

5. Go back and do it all over again. De­clut­ter­ing should hap­pen three or four times a year. Once it be­comes part of your rou­tine, ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit.

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