How to Start Organizing – 2 Secrets to Get Organized

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How to Start Organizing - 2 Secrets to Get Organized

How to Start Organizing – Easy Steps To Get You Started!

Where do I begin to explain to you where to begin organizing? :) :) When it comes to organizing, the first question I am always asked is, “Where do I begin?” followed by, “How do I do it?” Hopefully I will answer both of those questions for you today.

I am addressing organizing first instead of cleaning (there is a difference) because you really can’t clean properly if you don’t have things organized.

I will try to give you hints and ideas about how to do things over the next few weeks but that will take time. For those of of you who read the story, “When Queens Ride By”, I am sure you are all excited to jump in and start cleaning right now. (Well, maybe you are at least thinking about it.) To prevent you from committing organizing suicide and to keep you from crashing and burning, here is “Organizing 101″ in a nutshell.

Stand Up and Move
Toss and Store

These two things just about cover it. It is so simple it can be confusing, so let me explain. First you just need to make yourself do it. Stand up, move and start to work. Don’t keep sitting there thinking someone else is going to wave a magic wand over everything and it will get clean. Don’t think that after weeks of debating the details of this cleaning product and that one you can now pick one, spritz it in the air and miraculously everything will get clean.

Don’t be deceived. Spending hours studying and talking about the best cleaning products or the best ways to clean is not actually cleaning. It is just another excuse to keep you from cleaning. I once read a quote that said, “Ideas are funny little things. They don’t work until you do.”

I hate to break the news to you, but you are going to have to work. It’s like our grandmothers said– You will have to use good old-fashioned elbow grease. We have yet to invent anything to replace it. I’m sorry but that is just the way it is. We have got to stop being mentally and physically lazy and get busy– busy taking care of your home and family, not busy doing anything and everything to avoid the difficulty of taking care of your home.

Mentally, you will have to think and plan. Do I need this or not and if I do where do I put it? You can’t have your mind wandering, thinking about what you are going to wear to so and so’s wedding, what you are going to have for dinner and how are you going to fix Bobby’s bed. Keep focused on the job at hand.

Walk into the room that needs to be clean, pick a spot and start doing the next step, which is toss and store. Every item your hand touches needs to be tossed in a trash bag, in a give-away box or placed in the place you are going to store it. It is just that simple.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you clean:

1. Recruit help if you can. A friend, spouse, aunt or mother… Someone who will be a help, not a hindrance. No help is better than bad help.

2. Envision what you want a room or area to look like and then proceed to make it look like that. For example, when you stand and look at your dining room table, is it piled high with papers, dirty dishes and junk? In your mind do you see it with a pretty table cloth and a vase of colorful flowers? Then make it so.

Here’s the more practical version if you’re like me… My kitchen table is the hub of my home. I would have to take the tablecloth off every five minutes and the vase of flowers would surely get knocked over at least once or twice a day. Knowing this, I would instead keep the table clear with a pretty bowl of fruit with a doily under it. Then, at dinner time, I would pull out my tablecloth or place mats.

What about your bedroom? Do you see your bed neatly made with a warm throw laying across the foot of it instead of the rumpled smelly mess it is now? Then make it so. Move from room to room doing this, starting with the areas that are driving you the most crazy.

3. Start small with one little area. It could be a closet, cabinet, table or coffee table. It will amaze you how good you will feel getting just one little area done and how it will invigorate you to do more.

4. DON’T QUIT. If our kids come in from a job that they have only half done or not done well and moan and groan, “It’s too hot, I’m too tired, it’s too hard,” or there’s too much to do, we are usually all over them to get the job done anyway. I wonder where they learned their work ethic from when mom or dad is cracking under the pressure of just cleaning a dirty house.

We expect kids to do their homework on a daily basis whether they want to or not, whether it is easy or not, whether it is boring or not and we become very frustrated with them when they want to shirk it, yet we are even more irresponsible when we shirk taking care of our homes. We are adults and should know better.

5. Work quickly. This is a job that needs to be done and not a time to walk down memory lane. Looking through vacation pictures and reading every bit of paper you pick up is a no no. Glance at it and toss or store it. Don’t forget that you don’t need 10 pictures of the same pose of a dolphin jumping in the air. It is not a sin to throw out a picture. If you must, keep just one picture or better yet throw them all out and when you want to see a picture of a dolphin in the air go to the library or find one on the Internet.

6. When the trash is full, take it outside to the trash can or at least set it outside of the room you are cleaning. This is not the time to recycle. I knew a woman who could have had a clean house but it was literally filthy with a year’s worth of milk cartons, cardboard boxes and newspapers all over the house that she was “one day” going to recycle.

You can recycle, but get your house in order the easiest and fastest way first, just tossing things in the regular trash so you have one less decision to make when you might otherwise be overstressed. Get your priorities straight. There is no use saving the environment for your children if the environment in your house is more dangerous and could be killing them or at the very least making them sick.

7. When your give away box is full, take it to the car so you will be forced to get rid of it immediately. I hope this box contains a lot, too. No child needs 75 little cars or dolls. No woman needs 10 pairs of black pants and 15 eye shadows. No man needs 8 pairs of pliers.

8. Wipe and clean shelves, drawers and cabinets as you put things away.

9. Keep your eyes on what you have cleaned and not what still needs to get done or you will become discouraged.

10. When you have worked hard, sit back and admire your work with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of lemonade. You can even have a cookie because think of all the calories you have burned! Pat yourself on the back now and say, “Job well done.” Or better yet, comment on the blog when you complete something so we can pat you on the back too!


P.S. Play some music while you work if it helps. There really is a reason why the seven dwarfs whistled while they worked!

For more helpful tips to make organizing, cleaning and laundry easier, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.

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  1. marci357 says

    I had to laugh – you made it soooo simple: Stand up and Move, Toss it or store it! You’re right!

    It’s an area where I need a lot of improvement! My best suggestion is that I turn on music – usually one particular lively Santana CD – turn it up very loud – and then just dance and jive around the room doing the cleaning. It helps :) And I get some good exercise in the process…of course this is all usually best done if no one is at around to see me make a fool of myself with music from my teenage years!

  2. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much for this. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to get my house together only to give up. But this blog seems to be just what I needed to get my going again.

  3. Anonymous says

    In the last two weeks my husband and I have completely ridded our home of years, I mean years, of junk! We started how you said, room by room, gave away a lot of stuff (Bless those Veterans for coming to pick it up! & we get a tax donation!) and borrowed the neighbor's trailer to make a trip to the landfill. Amen for your comments on recycling & saving the environment! Now I am able to recycle because I'm not overwhelmed by so much stuff! God bless you! I love the website and am enjoying all the new blogs!

  4. Phyllis says

    I misplaced a counted cross stitch project and had supposedly looked everywhere for it. Just this week, the electricity was off and I decided to declutter around the wood stove that is not in use this season. The grandchildren are mostly grown out of all the toys, books, etc. that we’ve used for years. Out they came along with a box with a bunch of papers in it, in it was the counted cross stitch project! So, today, I started on the 2 drawers that house the younger toys. What to keep and what to throw or sell? Lots of memories there.

  5. says

    you are so right in this article. My blogname and my motto are “if you do stuff, stuff gets done”
    we just have to do this stuff to have a clean and organized home and then we will have a happy and thrifty home too. And then, we have to turn around and do it again!

  6. Carole says

    This reminds me of what Elisabeth Elliott, the Christian radio speaker, used to say when people didn’t know how to go ahead, “do the next thing”. It’s a line from a poem.

  7. Colleen says

    Great tips! Even though my house is pretty neat, it is still inspirational to read some practical ideas about how to make it better:)

  8. Mary says

    Thank you for your post today. I’m doing everything you said in hopes that it will help save my marriage. My husband said he hated that I had 2 or 3 of some things so I’m getting rid of a lot of it. The funny thing is when I started getting rid of stuff and was packing all his stuff up because he left me I found over 100 sample size bottles of shampoo that he had carried in from when he is out on the road. When I told him about it last night when he came by he found it hard to believe. He did not realize he was as much at fault as me for collecting stuff we did not need.

    • says

      Actually that is a really normal occurrence Mary. Plus as humans we tend to see with a neon light what we think are faults in others and that same neon light sometimes blinds us to our own faults and what is even more interesting we tend to accuse others of things in areas which we have an even bigger problem in. Go figure. :) :)

      • Ruth Schaefer says

        I liked your response Jill. I Gabe had a similar run in with my husband not liking anything being left out in the house to mess it up, yet there is a corner in our basement that has really old, or nonusable tools scattered on the workbench, on metal shelves or floor.

        This is important to him as some are from his father’s era.

        That is OK. Just need to get on the same page with him re: 1) tossing, 2) Goodwill, and 3). To keep and find a place for it immediately.

        Thank you for being transparent in your life.


  9. Cindy says

    This is great. I wish I knew why I procrastinate so much when there is such a glow of satisfaction from just starting something and having a feeling of accomplishment! When my kids were young and we homeschooled, we borrowed the slogan from (I think) Nike – Just Do It! It’s as simple as that.
    Thank you!

    • says

      Time yourself. I used to be really bad about procrastinating then one day I timed myself.
      Make the bed- 1 minute
      Clear table- 3 minutes
      Load dishwasher- 5 minutes
      fold clothes-5 minutes
      put up clothes- 5 minutes
      go to the bathroom- 1 minute (had little kids pounding on the door. :-)

      Now I don’t procrastinate hardly at all. I figure if that’s all the time it takes I will get it done!

  10. says

    This morning sitting looking at the christmas tree still up and feeling sory for myself I read When the Queen rides by. In the last year both my sons moved back home, 2 grandchildren and a greatgrand son. Oh and a friend of my sons. All out of work. The dinning room is now a bedroom.( I have a 3 bedroom and 1 bath) Everything has got behine. 4 days to catch up with the kitchen. So this is the day I try to become a Queen. I have my list and going to start on the bathroom. Hope I can write in a week and say half my work is done. Please wish me luck. Will try and keep you updated.

    • says

      Good luck! Remember my way of doing it:
      clean the sink

      have a cup of tea

      clean the toilet

      have a cup of tea

      clean the tub

      have a cup of tea

      clean the floor

      have a cup of tea

      You get the idea. :-)

    • says

      Molly I do wish you luck and be sure to keep us updated. Remember though slow and easy but don’t give up even when you are tempted. I can’t wait to see how much you have done in a few days.

  11. Kim says

    Thank you so much for inspiring me! For weeks I’ve been saying “I need to clean my desk”. I finally did it after reading this article. Also, normally, cleaning the desk means throwing out the receipts and shifting the papers around into neater piles. I actually CLEANED the entire thing! Thanks!

    • says

      Kim I had to laugh at your post and a few others. It really is amazing how good it feels to get those silly “spots” that drive us crazy cleaned. I don’t think we realize what a millstone they are around our neck until we get them done.
      Some cleaning experts say start cleaning your living room or bedroom etc. I say clean that one area which you can’t get out of your mind and is driving you crazy and once you get it done you won’t want to quit. The rest will be a breeze.

  12. Julie says

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! I had to laugh at your comment about not going down memory lane because that is exactly what I did over the weekend as my husband and I cleaned out the attic. He told me the same thing because I would get so sidetracked. You have such great down-to-earth advice that is doable for everyone. Thanks again!!

  13. Linda says

    I retired a few months ago and decided to re-purpose our extra bedroom into a sewing/crafts/etc room for the myriad projects I plan to do in retirement. Over time the room had filled with “stuff” that family members (myself included, I’m ashamed to say!) didn’t need, didn’t know what to do with, or were just too lazy to put away. I followed the “toss it, give it, or store it” rule and got rid of all my stuff from that room. My family finally got on board with the project when I moved their stuff into the hall, bedrooms, and living room. Over the holidays we went through not only the clutter I had removed from the guest room, but the rest of the house as well. We delivered over 150 children’s books to the local library and just this morning a truck from a local charity picked up 16 boxes and 12 large black trash bags full of toys, clothes, household knicknacks, etc. I feel almost giddy to have gotten all of this done, like a burden is lifted that I wasn’t even aware was there. The best part — my whole family is excited. In the spring we tackle the garage and everyone wants to take part!

  14. Karen says

    That is inspiring, I have let things get out of control. And am looking forward to getting started. My first stop will be my bedroom, since everything that doesn’t have a home ends up, plus laundry for 6 people. I get easily overwhelmed, and after reading the article I am motivated to just get in there and start. I know I will feel much better when my room is organized and cleaned. Thanks for the practical step by step instructions. I will keep you posted on my progress.

  15. Donna LeClair says

    wow!! you sure hit the nail on the head with this one!!

    I worked until 5pm tonight, then went to my mom’s to check on her pets, she’s still on vacation. When I got home I made a quick supper. After supper we had a family movie night. Always a good night!! Then, homework had to be checked. My kids always do their homework before I get home and then I check it after supper. While checking my 8 year old son’s homework he wasn’t cooperating. I was getting frustrated at him because I knew he knew the answer. I kept after him until he finally gave in and finished the problems he ‘didn’t’ know how to do. Then I went over my 10 year old daughter’s homework with her. She was a bit more cooperative. When we finished it was after her bedtime, 9pm. After she went to bed I decided I would wait to clean the kitchen until in the morning. I don’t have to be at work until noon tomorrow so I’ll have more time in the morning. I sat down at the computer and started checking email. I opened up a couple of emails before opening the Living On A Dime Newsletter… ouch.. I felt the sting and knew I had to send a comment to you. As soon as I hit submit comment… I’ll be tidying up my kitchen even if it is late. :)

    Thank you for you words of wisdom tonight!!
    Don’t Quit!!
    Donna LeClair

    God loves you!!

  16. Melanee Phillips says

    clearing out the clutter is exactly what the women of our congregation are working on for Jan. We’re posting pics of before and after and giving encouragement. in some areas of life i’m pretty good and others are pretty dreadful. I was really sick with fibromyalgia to point of being bedridden and the sicker I got I’d buy supplies for all the beautiful things I wanted to make. I think I have a millenial supply of fabric and patterns. i am doing much better, but all this stuff makes me feel guilty and like I got to catch up, haha, to justify it all or at least resell. Everytime I try to give it away i get stuck. Really what should I do? i just want to stop feeling guilty.I have 7 children,5 still home and we are tight. We’ve paid out of pocket for all my treatments.

    • says

      Melanee, you are like I was many years ago. I would end up with all this fabric, patterns or even other things like furniture to refinish basically projects which needed to be done.Then there were things like the vegetable slicer my husband got me which took me more time to wash then cutting the veggies by hand so I never used it. I stored it in my cabinet for years.

      Then I had this revelation. Why in the world am I keeping this stuff which I know after 10 years I will probably never use? I had to face the fact I made a buying this It was as simple as that and keeping it wasn’t going to make the mistake go away or change anything. Why was I keeping this thing which reminded me daily that I had wasted my money. There was not a thing being accomplished by storing it except I had to clean, dust and have it weigh on my mind all the time.

      From then on out if I have something like that happen I have to face up to things. I spent my money on something I am not using and is a waste. It happens. 364 days out of the year I am a pretty wise steward so what if I blew it one day. I have to forgive myself and move on.

      Moving on means giving it to someone else who can really use it or selling it. No matter what, get it out of the house and move on. It has taken up enough of your thoughts and time. I mean look you even spent probably 5-10 minutes writing an e mail about it.

      We do the same thing with “skinny” clothes in our closet. Do you know when you out grow clothes and you leave them in your closet for months or years what a mental burden and mental abuse you are doing to yourself by looking at those every morning when you pick out something to wear.

      Stop feeling guilty and let this stuff go. Give it to someone who will really enjoy it. I know it may have cost you an arm and a leg to buy it but you aren’t going to get the money back for it or solve anything by it sitting on a shelf or floor taking up space you could store things you really use.

  17. says

    Here is a suggestion.
    take a pattern and put the material into the same bag. Mark a decent price on the bag.
    do this for all the patterns and then when you have it all sorted that way you can advertise it as a kit and sell it at a yard sale or even through ads in laundramats.
    If you don’t sell it at least you will be started towards organizing things you have and it is altogether in one bag.

  18. susan says

    You all are so right. a magic wand “ain’t gonna cut it” as we say here in the south. I learned many years ago to take a section of a room at a time and if it takes all week to do that one section then thats the way it has to be! After I got sick and realized that I could only do a little at a time it really made me think about things and so that it what I do, one room. one section at a time. My husband has gotten to be the same way, Slow and easy!
    I had a bit of good news today! I have been approved for my service dog and will begin training with the trainers and dogs at the end of the month. I don’t know how it works but you are put with several dogs and when you “bond”
    thats when the trainers will know and we go from there. I am so happy hopefully this will help me to be able to do things a little eaiser with the help of a service dog. Wish me luck and I will keep you all posted. God bless you all!

    • says

      Susan what good news. My neighbor is wanting to start training service dogs. I think that is so great. Yes be sure and let us know what happens that will be interesting.

  19. Linda says

    Two days ago I found an article on here. (I think it was on here) It listed ten steps to start. I typed them in large print and taped it to my bedroom door. I live in a palatial single wide so it was visible almost from everywhere. The first step was “Hang up your keys”. That’s easy so I decided to do them in order. So yesterday bright and early (10am for me) I showered and dressed and put on lace up shoes. Hang up your key……. on what? Well I know I have some hooks somewhere….nope, can’t find them. A nail?…..nope. I know a cup hook. Couldn’t find them either. I have one cup hook near my stove for the pothold. Yep, I unscrewd it and put it near the door. Well, after I spent an hour thinking about exactly where to put it. Not behind the door; I wouldn’t bother walking all the way around the door to hang them up. Not right next to the door; it would be tacky. Wait.. I live alone; who that lives here cares about tacky. So I put the hook hip high and the table by the door kinda hides it so it really isn’t too tacky. I hung up my keys! Well, that took care of day one but I really didn’t think it would take the whold day to hang up my keys.. The only problem now is wherever am I going to put my potholder? Can’t wait for tomorrow.

    • says

      To funny Linda but at least you are trying. :) Wish I would have known your situation I maybe could have helped a little. Tawra hangs her keys on a hook but for those of you who find yourselves in Linda’s spot here are a couple of other things you might try.

      I don’t hang my keys on a hook. My purse is hung in a certain spot each day and I hook them on to my purse. You could try putting a small dish on the table or any handy spot for you and just always be sure to put them in the dish.

      Like I said you don’t have to use a hook the main point was to find a handy place to put your keys and make sure you always put them there.
      As for your hot pan holder. You might try a drawer by your stove or I put a small nail on the inside of my cabinet door by the stove.

      I really got tickled with your story but don’t feel bad because I do the same thing all the time. I have to clean a certain spot but where I want to put the stuff from that spot needs to have things moved and cleaned but I need to buy a cabinet to put them in so I get a cabinet which I spend all day putting together which I ended doing wrong so need to start all over again. Now I’m too tired to clean out the original spot where I started.

      Maybe that is why the Bible is always saying the one who perseveres is the one who wins but the persevering part is sure hard.

    • says

      I do this type of thing all the time!! It drives me crazy! I will spend 5 hours trying to get one simple 5 minute thing done. BUT…. after it’s done and you know where they always are it will save you 10 times that amount of time looking for them!!! :-)

  20. Misty says

    About 3 weeks ago my 4 year old daughter asked me, “mom, can we put a craft table in the basement. So me and my sister can do all our crafty stuff down there?” and I thought “huh, what a wonderful idea!!!” so I am happy to say that there is now a craft table in the basement and the girls love it. It was not an easy task and it took me and my husband the last 3 weeks in our down time (after bedtime for the little ones) to organize and complete the one task. I have thought about decluttering the basement before but it just never seemed worth it. It is amazing what kids do to and for you. If she would have never of asked the basement would still look like a tornado just ripped right threw it. We donated about 3 large boxes of random stuff (toys, mags, kitchen stuff, and a lot more), sold about 4 trash bags full of clothes, and got about 6-7 bags of trash. Sad but true. It has motivated me to just keep on going. I am going to tackle our bedroom tomorrow while hubby is at work. So I hope to have the whole house done and kept up with for the whole year. It is kind of my new years resolution. So please wish me luck.

  21. says

    I just did it. I tossed out a bunch of magazines and papers that my son left in storage here 5 years ago.
    I had how to make a class plan for teaching english in a foreign country. He is the top foreign teacher at the university. I don’t think he needs the tutorials now.
    I have science magazines that are so out of date even I could understand much of the new technology found in them.
    I had phone books from 2005 and we only have 3 rooms with phones why do I need to keep 2 for every year?
    So now the bag is sitting at the road and hopefully the recycling people will not look too hard at it because some of the stuff I don’t think are supposed to be recycled.
    At least it is gone from my small house.
    3 cheers for me. 2nd step in decluttering has been taken.

    • says

      I second that – 3 cheers for you grandma. Isn’t is amazing how even getting one sack of stuff out feels good. I can’t wait to hear what your next bag of stuff will be.

  22. Janie says

    My top tip is to listen to an audiobook on your i pod or similar device as you work. Concentrating on that makes the cleaning easier.

    thanks for the advice on clearing junk out – that is my biggest problem. I’ve been trying to do that all week and still feel I haven’t made another day “at it” today. I will follow your advice today and hopefully will make a difference to the amount I throw away.

  23. says

    Well Jill tomorrow morning another industrial size green garbage bag will be sitting out at 7am ready for pickup.
    Closet is cleaned out also one small dresser.
    Now there is room to really put things away properly.
    Sure does feel good.

    Janie, when I get the cleaning bug I put on music from the 60;s and 70’s playing really loud. don’t notice the groans coming from me as I move.
    reminds me of better health times when I actually had energy and a lot less pain.
    Amazing what you can do while doing the twist.

    • says

      Good going Grandma. Isn’t it amazing how good it feels just to get rid of 1or 2 bags? Music is a good motivator that’s for sure. The more up beat the music the better.

      I have to laugh though. My husband was a very good musician and each Sunday morning before church he would practice what he was playing that day. His music was usually very fast and up beat. This one Sunday it was especially perky music. While he played I was running from one end of the house to the other like a chicken with it’s head chopped off trying to get myself and the kids dressed and ready. The faster he played the faster I would fly past him. It was like he was playing “hurry” music for me.

      Needless to say towards the end of the song I had a total melt down and burst into tears. The poor guy didn’t even no what had happened because he was so busy concentrating on the music. Suffice it to say the next Sunday and from then on out he made sure he helped me with the kids before he practiced. He was a quick study. I still have to laugh about that morning to this day.

  24. rose says

    thank you again jill/tawra for posting this .. i needed it too ..
    good going grandma and everyone else who has started to de-clutter or re-arrange the house …
    it does feel wonderful when this is all done (even if its just one area of the house)..
    i have de-cluttered the whole house (as some may know from a past post that jill/tawra shared) .. but the ‘gnomes’ are at it again in my house .. not so bad this time but still a bit here and there ..
    its really hard to keep this up but i and the rest of the family does try ..
    my goal by the time we move (which should be sometime in aug) that all i will have to do is clean the walls and floors in each room ..
    we arent taking any furniture .. only the shelves we have and our computers and computer desks ..
    it does feel wonderful when something is accomplished and clutter free .. cant wait for my whole house to be like this …
    thanks again for posting this .. it was a much needed reminder 😀

  25. Blarda says

    I hate cleaning and organizing more than anything else..every thing you guys described is me…I hate it soooooooooooooooooooo much it just NEVER ends. But i can’t stay like this I have to take baby steps.

    • says

      To be honest Blarda I don’t like cleaning or organizing myself. I mean there are many other things I would much rather be doing but it is kinda like brushing your teeth. I hate to brush my teeth for some reason but I do it anyway. Why? For my health, others would find it unpleasant etc. So I clean for the same reason. The whole secret is to get it under control and then you learn how to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. You’d be surprised. Once you get things under control and stay on top of it it really doesn’t take that long to do each day.

      It’s like the difference of taking 2 mins. to brush my teeth each day or letting them go and having to spend hours at the dentist having them fixed and cleaned. I know it is hard to do something you hate but like you said take a baby step. Try cleaning one drawer or one section of your kitchen counter. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how good it feels.Go for it even if you hate it I think you can do it. Oh and once you have taken your baby step stop and reward yourself with a cup of tea or even better a piece of chocolate – my favorite. :) :)

  26. rose says

    jill .. great advice ..
    also just wanted to share with u something .. i too hate to clean (bc i am the type of person if i clean it once i want it to stay that way but of course in the real world things still get dirty and dusty) ..
    a friend of my kids has been out of work and i made a deal with her (bc she actually loves to clean) .. she said she will help me clean and get things organized .. her fee? .. $5 for every 45 mins of work ..
    hubby and i both agreed this is a good thing .. even tho we really cant afford it but she has come over and helped and never charged anything .. we have known her a very long time and she is just a sweet heart .. she has been out of work for the longest time and well .. she has been offering this type of service to everyone ..
    i figured this would be a great way to get things done in a timely manner (4 hands better than 2) ..
    and bc we are moving soon, i do want the house to look super clean when i leave it .. we will have been here a full 7 yrs and well over time some things are going to be needed to be replaced, repainted (even tho we did repaint ourselves) and etc ..
    so maybe this isnt the best choice for everyone but maybe this might be a good idea for some .. get a teenager or an adult who can use a bit of money and/or maybe barter …
    just a thought ..
    thanks for the post too jill .. and its true baby steps is the best ..

  27. rose says

    after i posted this and started to think about this post .. i need to clarify some things …
    even tho our friend has helped us out several times and never charged us, we still “gave” her money (even tho she refused) we treated her to lunch and/or cigs (she smokes) …
    also . the house we live in is about 35 + yrs old .. and the carpet in the bedrooms are as old as the house.. when we had our 2-3 yr inspection, the landlord told us that we could replace the carpet if we wish but if not to make sure when we move out to take the carpet out (they wanted to replace the carpets b4 we moved in bc all the other renters had kids. pets or both) .. so we told them to leave the carpet bc we too have kids and pets …
    and the stove? well, when we moved in all the burners worked.. about 3 months later 2 of the burners stopped working but we told the landlord not to replace it bc we will work around it and when we move then he can replace it ..
    as far as the painting the rooms go: we have painted while we lived here and the back porch the dogs live out there (they come in at nite tho, they are little dogs) there is that indoor/outdoor carpet on the floor and i know they will want to replace that (theres’s no damage but bc the dogs have been out there and by the time our lease is up we will have been here a full 8 yrs) …
    but as far as anything else, the house looks fine .. a few bumps here and there (not only from us but the other tenants too) .. and anything that needed to be mended/fixed etc .. i took care of that while we lived here .. including the mice problems we have .. we have sealed up every single hole that i could find (including the top of the chimney (and yes they got in that way too bc that was the last opening of the house!) .. we never use the fireplace and they can take down what i put up if they choose .. our neighborhood has trouble with the mice every winter .. its in the neighborhood and we are not the only house that has issues with them…
    we didnt plan on staying here as long as we have .. it was supposed to be no more than 2 yrs tops .. but with my husband’s health issues and surgeries, it was easier to just stay here and not move ..
    now i am ready to move .. i want to move .. and we really cant afford to live here anymore .. its too expensive …
    we have been good tenants too .. we pay our rent early (they never have to call for their money) and if there are any major issues with the house, i call them asap and have it repaired/fixed …
    just wanted to clarify this bc the other post i made (after i started to think about it) i didnt want anyone to think we arent good renters .. we take care of this house as if it was our own ..
    granted the yard doesnt always look wonderful but this yr we have hired a new lawn person .. i do not like to mow the lawn and my son hates the heat but he will do it bc well its a part of living here .. and now with his work schedule he wont have time so we have hired the same man who does my daughter’s lawn .. he is reasonably priced and he comes on a scheduled day/time .. which we like ..
    and when i move, he will definitely come to that house too ..
    i guess i could get another lawn mower, weeder and edger and hedger but to find the time and not doing it when its over 100 degrees out plus add in all the other stuff and work i do i will make sure i can afford $10/week for this man to come out and do the lawn .. (and my back lawn for some reason doesnt need to be mowed every week and the weeding and edging/hedging doesnt need to be done all of the time too .. so its just the front yard that needs to be mowed weekly.. that is probably why he gave us such a good price) ..
    sorry so long ..

  28. says

    Hello, I love to learn and find new tips on how to stay organized. My tip is take is slow and start small. I love to clean and organize so here is what I do:
    1. I take a picture
    2. I take everything out
    3. I sort and find 1.00 store bins and such to put items into
    4. I clean out the area with vinegar
    5. I place all items back in
    Tip: if the items do not belong there, I create a box and work on that later.
    Great comments here.

  29. Bob Arnold says

    The last newsletter…livingonadime…we received was
    01-04 2011…do you automatically drop us after a certain period of time? We’d like to continue receiving your newsletter.

    Bob Arnold

  30. Paulette Fulmer says

    Hi from KY. I just read all the organizing stories, and that is what I have been doing this summer. It has been hot this year, so it’s a good time to work indoors. Reading all the pleasant comments made me think of a woman who used to be our orthopedic surgeon’s main go-to secretary and all-round helper. She literally made the office run like clockwork, and the patients always got a smile, even when she was too busy for all else. She was immaculate in her appearance, even though she was somewhat portly. Her huge desk was organized, and her efficiency at an amazing level! I am not sure what made me think of her, but when I am working, I think of how happy she always was to be on top of it all, even though she suffered from fibromyalgia. Her name was Mary, and I know she would get a real charge out of reading all the organization stories, because she had it down to a science…talk about a multi-tasker. She died not too long ago from a fast-growing cervical tumor. I didn’t get to say good-bye; it was so fast. I miss Mary and try to be grateful that I am physically able to work around our home, organizing and thinking of new ways to make it more comfortable for my husband and me. Thanks, Jill, Tawra, and for sure, Mary…(are you watching me and smiling that gorgeous smile? ) Take care and God bless all of you :o) Paulette

  31. Gayla T says

    Growing up, we all had our chores to do and being the oldest, I had to help a lot. I have a dear friend who grew up doing nothing and not having a clue how to keep house. I asked her if she didn’t watch her mother and learn from that and she said that she has no memory of her mom ever cleaning house. I asked her what it felt like to live in a filthy home and she looked at me like I was crazy. It seems that her stay at home mom did all the housework while the 2 children were at school and they would come home and everything was spotless. I asked about summer vacation and she and her sister were always enrolled in summer activites at the rec center near where they lived so they know how to swim, row a boat, ect but no clue on washing, ironing or cleaning. She says when she would go home from college on weekend she took her dirty clother and by the time she went back they were washed and folded or ironed and on hangers but she never really saw her mom getting them into that state. As an adult her mom is very critical of the eay she manages her home but evidently thinks that she should have been born with a gene to know all that. LOL I stayed with her for a couple of weeks when I was undergoing a move and I gave her lessons. Until then I didn’t realize that she laundered her and her husband’s underwear but sent out almost everything else. It cost her a fortune but her clothes always look terrific. Her husband was like most men of our generation and had no clue either but did the man chores so the outside of the house looked nice but the inside was woman’s work and never helped her. Fortunately they never had children so they lived like that for years. Once I helped her organize and throw away twenty years of old mail and other stuff she just kept piling up, she was able to manage it and did ok. She will never be able to keep a house like I would want it to be but I’m not her mother and it’s not my job to harp at her so I don’t. Her husband was very happy with the improvements but sadly didn’t get to enjoy them very long. I’ve watched the hoarder shows on TV and wonder how many of them really don’t want to live like that but don’t know what to do. I sent her a link to you but I’d be surprised if she is using it. She thinks she is living well. LOL

  32. rose says

    eheheh .. i wrote my posts on here exactly one yr ago! .. hehee .. and i am still moving out of this house! .. hehehehehe .. but this time its for real .. i can not take dealing iwth the mice anymore .. i have sealed up every single hole i can find and i can not figure out where they are getting in (the garage) for the life of me ..
    we do have to move bc its just too much for us to live here .. our bills are high in this house and our son had lost his job b4 the holidays .. he has been doing odd jobs and well is still looking for another job too ..

    • Eugenia Danes says

      Rose, I live by the woods and I have a mice problem also. They come through the garage, so I just have to set some traps and I always get them. So far this winter I am on number 12. I leave the trap on the inside of the garage door, put a little flour in the trap and keep catching them. It really works, it’s one of those things I have to deal with as long as I live in my house. Please, set a traps and good luck!

  33. rose says

    well .. we took over 20 bags of stuff out of the house .. and more to go .. i didnt fill up the bags all the way either . just in case they would break .. they are hte 13 gallon bags i am using .. i am tired .. more to do in the morning b4 the garbage men come .. hopefully they wont run early ..
    i would say i got out 15% .. 50% will be that one room i have most of my things stored in and the garage .. my son thinks we could probably get out most of what is needed in the house .. and in march we will do the garage .. when its nice out ..

  34. rose says

    thanks for the encouraging words jill .. i appreciate it ..
    the garbage men havent run yet .. i am so tired at the moment .. i need a break .. i have taken over 10 more bags of stuff out ..
    omg jill.. i feel so liberated! .. i can not describe the feeling ..
    my son just asked me “mom if this little bit makes u feel so good, what will u feel like once the other room is done?” i told him “awesome son! awesome!” . .
    hhehehee 😀 ..
    keep telling everyone to declutter jill .. they will be glad they did ..
    my house was 3000 sq ft .. we moved into this house (1800 sq ft) .. our next place will be about 900 sq ft ..
    and yes, most of this stuff now, is from my house! .. it was stuff i left alone from the last 2 x’s of the decluttering sessions i have had in the past .. and b4 we leave, i will go thru everything again once more .. just to make sure i want or need it ..
    thanks again for the encouraging words jill .. i greatly appreciate it .. 😀
    hope all is well with u and hte family 😀

  35. rose says

    jill .. i have our new home! .. we are to be moving in on feb 1st .. its half the size of this house! .. omg .. its so much tinier …
    i told hubby to pick out only things he really thinks he needs and wants .. we cant take everything .. and jill the best part? .. its half the rent i pay now! .. woo hoo .. and no more lawn care and !!!! .. no more mice (oh they are in the neighborhood but this apt complex as the pest control people there every wed setting traps, and doing all they do to keep the critters away) ..
    its a handicap apt .. so its set up for people in wheelchairs ..
    and yes, i am still throwing things out .. now, its basically “do i really really want this? and will i have room for it in the new place?” ..
    its basically only the bare minimum i will be taking .. very basic .. i have to let things go .. we arent using them and well theres really no room for the stuff so its either going to the road or its to goodwill ..
    keep telling everyone to declutter declutter declutter ..they will be happy they listend to you .. 😀
    thanks for the encouraging words too jill 😀 😀 ..

    • says

      Rose that’s great! Mom’s computer is dead again so I will tell her. My theory when moving is DUMP, DUMP, DUMP!!! I couldn’t believe it when we moved here I probably took 20 loads to the Goodwill in the back of my staionwagon! Where does it come from!!! Congrats! and I hope you have the energy to get it all packed!

    • says

      so glad to hear this rose. You will be so happy there without your little unwelcome guests.
      were you able to keep your cat? I sure hope so. When someone is sick or housebound cats make a great friend to have to talk with and curl up with.
      Enjoy your new home with my best wishes. Tawra get your moms computer fixed or you may find the tiles on the floor worn out with her cleaning them just to find something to keep her mind off the fact she doesn’t have her life line.

  36. rose says

    thanks tawra .. and yes u r so right .. we are dumping dumping everything .. just taking the bare necessities .. hubby and son said to have ur mom check her power button .. their computers werent working bc the power source button died .. just a thought ..

    and grandma .. so true .. we are so glad to be leaving here .. i have covered every hole i can literally see and they are still coming in the garage and attic . some nites it sounds like they are having a party up there .. it wont be much longer ..
    as far as my cat is concerned, i am going to speak to his dr tomorrow to see he can write me a note .. hubby is getting depressed bc he loves the cat and bc the other cat died less than a yr ago, this one has taken his place and has been comforting hubby .. so i heard that if the cat is a therapy cat for terminally ill people i might only need a dr’s note to help with this situation ..
    we feel so bad about the dogs .. but i literally can not take them .. and no one will take them in .. they have lots of health issues, too .. the one dog is 75% lind and deaf and the other one has bad hips .. she has been crying and complaining more now than ever b4 and doesnt like to be touched or petted by any of us at times .. she’s nips us and leah isnt like that .. she’s very loving and sweet .. so .. with saddened hearts .. we have decided not to try to adopt them out .. but they will live with us as long as we are still moving but sometime in feb we will have to put them down ..
    we have been praying that GOD the HE takes them bc this is one thing i am dreading .. we all are .. and we know that leah is in pain .. and mickey, well if he gets out he will surely get hurt .. and he shakes like he’s very frightened at times .. i told hubby i think he is remembering his puppy days when he was severely abused .. bc he only shakes like that if there’s rain in the forecast (he doesnt like thunder or rain either) .. and there hasnt been any of that right at the moment ..
    hubby thinks this is best bc we took such good care of them and there probably will be someone else that would but bc of their health issues, it might be best (plus, with those dog and cock fighting rings they just found, i am scared to try to adopt them out.. u never know these days.. and if they get out .. thats it for them) ..

    • says

      Rose the other cat is probably filling a hole for your husband. Our oldest cat was Don’s she worshipped him and was his almost constant companion. I put her to sleep myself because the vet was a very rough uncaring man 3 years ago.
      Don missed her but we didn’t even think to get another as the other two are getting old and so are we.
      Well a couple months ago we rescued another female kitten. Don loves her and his personality has changed back to having fun with the cats. We call her monster because it fits her personality.
      She bounces off walls bullies our two big cats and is so clumsy she is hilarious to watch.
      Yesterday I got my new electric frying pan. Had it on the counter to wash it this morning and Don heard a crash after I had gone to bed. Investigating he found that Monster had jumped up into the pan and knocked it onto the floor. Broke the base but he didn’t even holler. Just said oh well and is going to order a new base for it today. I feel that no matter what she does she is giving Don lots of companionship as he sits at his computer she sits in front of him and purrs. She is worth the trouble and expense.
      I sure hope your landlord and Dr. feel the same way about companionship. Will be thinking good thoughts for you to take to talk to the dr.
      good luck.

  37. rose says

    grandma .. i’m sorry i didnt write back sooner .. we are able to take the cat with us to the apt .. the dr filled out the necessary paperwork and even wrote a handwritten note .. the apt manager was very surprised to hear that the cat was allowed to stay .. they normally dont let cats stay .. its always been dogs ..
    but our dogs will be leaving us in the am .. its very sad and well we just cant take them … we gave them a great life with lots of love and protection ..
    but we just cant stay here either .. hubby is very sad about the dogs but knows this is best for us .. and he is very happy the cat will be with him ..
    thanks for the kind words grandma .. i appreciate it .. 😀

    • says

      Rose I am thinking about you this morning. I know your dogs are leaving you andI know it is hard. I have had to loose my dogs before too and it is rough and no words at all could comfort me at the time but I did want to let you know I am thinking of you. I am so glad too you are getting moved this week end because I know you have been having problems with your old place for a long long time now.

      I know this will be a hard and busy week for you but let us know how things are going when you can.

  38. rose says

    oh jill .. ur so sweet .. thank u so much for the kind words on the dogs .. yes, its been hard all day long .. the people at the humane society were so sweet and kind to us .. the man who took them back there (to the room) said he would stay with them until the end .. he was crying too .. they staff was just wonderful and understood completely and some even cried too ..
    yes, they are in a better place and safe.. they were old and getting very sickly .. so no more pain ..
    they enriched our lives immensely and i feel we all become better people by having them in our lives to teach us so much ..
    i am sorry if this sounds gloomy .. the hurt is very hard to handle today .. the only consolation i have is that they came to our lives the same day and they left the same day .. and were constant companions ..
    we will always treasure our time with them ..
    and yes, we are still throwing stuff out as i am typing .. i cant go anymore ..its 11pm my time (EST) and i am just exhuasted .. i am hoping we will be done by sunday at the very latest .. and all moved in the new place by sunday nite (we will if i keep right on schedule) ..
    and no i wont miss the place but i will miss my neighbors .. they are very nice and wonderful people .. oh i know i will come and visit again ..
    and to be quite honest, i had no idea i had so much stuff .. true junk if u ask me .. i told hubby tonite, we are throwing out 97% of whats in this house (other than the furniture we are taking) .. most of the stuff in the rooms are going to the road .. i borrowed one of those shopping carts from the walgreens up the street to help me transport stuff from the house to the road ..
    jill u shuld see the mountain of stuff i have out there .. half of it is from last week .. when the garbage men came we were still going thru stuff and throwing out .. i told them that if they were done near our address to come back adn take the rest of the stuff by they never came back .. and now they have a mountain of stuff to take ..
    i will be getting them sandwiches and snacks and $10/each to take the stuff .. they will need the sandwiches and snacks after this load .. i will also be throwing out more and more until they come (it shuld be about 3ish) .. hopefully i will have mostly everything out .. except what we will be taking ..
    again, thank u so much for hte kind words jill, i greatly appreciate it .. i know in time our hearts will heal and we will always remember the good times with our friends ..
    well my friend, i will keep in touch as i am making progress .. i know we will be off the internet soon (until our service will be transferred to the new place) .. i am not sure which day that will be ..
    i will keep u and ur family in my prayers ..
    again, thank u so much jill .. i really do appreciate the kind words .. 😀

  39. cynD says

    OH Dime buddies, thank you for the fun way of not beating around the bush… LOL love it. I am now a ful time mom again. I had a bussiness that I put every thing in too and sigh, it fell flat. There-fore I am back to what I love and that is being a domestic Goddess. Oh not that I am good at being a domestic goddess, but your words gave me the feeling tht mom was around… I LOVED that feeling. I must get going.. It also helps that for Lent My hubby and I are giving up on bag of trash per day and three bags of “give aways” a week. that can be flexable. I woun’t give away junk that should be tossed. We have three big kids 18,21,& 23 oldest still in University and the 21 and 18 year old still at home 18 y/o,still in HighSchool. It will be a hey day to clear, cull and clean this house and we only have a total of fourty days. This point we are on track…Lenten season will be happy. As will our home. Just get up and move. That is the best advice any one could get. Just get going! Thanks for your direct approach. LOVE it… cyn

  40. Anne says

    OK–so, it’s now Holy Week. I haven’t yet taken the Christmas tree down. I suppose I could just take it to the basement … oh, no, wait … there’s no more room there . Will somebody please help? Should I just throw the tree out? Thank you.

    • says

      Anne you do have a situation. You could do like Tawra does she has a little tree she just changes the decorations on from season to season so then you wouldn’t have to put it away at all. Your best bet would be to read some of our articles on how to get organized and maybe try to make room for it in the basement. : ) : ) I know that is not the answer you wanted. : )

  41. Art says

    While I agree that no one, male or female, needs 15 pair of black pants, 8 pair of pliers is not too many if you are doing a variety of jobs around the house. If you have to work on a bicycle, you need at least one other pair especially if you’re by yourself. Are you sure wishing REALLY hard won’t make a magic elf or fairy appear? Love the newsletters.

    • says

      Sorry buy I have tried real hard and no fairy has ever appeared. : ) When I said 8 pliers I meant 8 of the same kind. Like you said yes sometimes you do need 2 and maybe in some cases 3 but I really have never known the average person to ever need to use 8. I had a manufacturing business for years and even with 3 employees and my husband and I both working we never used 8 and we needed a lot of tools. I knew my “guys” out there would probably question the getting rid of tools. : )

  42. Emilie says

    Was happy to see this post in my inbox today. Yesterday I started working on organizing and cleaning my kitchen/dining room/ pantry with the goal of being able to meal plan this year and save some time and money! I also deal with fibro and CFS so I always enjoy your posts because you understand the way that things can be sometimes! Yesterday after work I managed to clean off my counters and one drawer and move my full little freezer to an easier to access spot, and took out two loads of trash. Then hit the ok that’s more than enough for today and I am going to feel it tomorrow moment! I can be very bad about pacing myself when I just want to see the end results!

    • says

      I am too Emilie. It’s like I know I had better quit or I will be in trouble tomorrow but I love working until a project is done. That has been one of the harder things for me to deal with since being sick – I want to keep going until it is done but I am getting better at pacing myself and sounds like you are too.

      My “Get as much done during a 5 min. commercial” I didn’t just start to motivate myself but also to make myself stop before I made myself sick. Sounds like you got a bunch done. Way to go.

  43. Cindy says

    We have a small house and have had to be pretty good about not collecting a lot of stuff. HOWEVER, our 27 yr. old son has tons of things in the basement (about 1/4 of it) as well as a full closet in his old room. I know I should get tough and give him a deadline. It’s hard for me to do because he works almost all the time. Before getting a full-time job with a police department, he worked part-time in area departments and more than full-time on a farm. He works all hours of the day and night and sleeps at odd hours. I feel that I’m making excuses for him, but I don’t want to add to his burden. All of the stuff is in storage containers. Maybe I should tell him I will bring one a week over to his apartment for him to deal with. :) Any suggestions?

    • says

      Actually Cindy that is a good idea to bring one a week over. It is always best to break things down to do smaller amounts then to try to do it all and get overwhelmed. I know what you mean about the excuses it is hard when your grown kids are working so hard to have them deal with things like this I do it all the time although there are times when I stop myself and think I worked 60-70 hours a week, took care of the kids, did yard work etc. all by myself and I survived so they (grown kids) are probably tougher then we give them credit for. : ) But still I think one tote a week is great. Leave it and forget it. Let him do what he wants with it.

      I might start with the closet first or one corner of the room that way you can be using or filling it up with your things while you whittle down the rest of the room.

  44. HCJ says

    Great article! Just a note for those who dread throwing stuff to recycle into the regular trash. Most landfills have people that actually do sort through stuff and take out a majority of recycle items. So, don’t feel bad, it will most likely get sorted out at the landfill. If not, with everything organized, you will do better next time. :)

    • says

      Good point. When people are in almost hoarder stage or things are totally out of control the worst thing you can do is to worry about recycling at this time. It is better just to toss everything in the regular trash or give it away then to stew and try to figure out what to recycle. I have had more people quit just because they became overwhelmed trying to decide this. Toss it in the trash then like HCJ said you can start fresh when you have things in order. First things first.

      I wrote an article along this same line. We often get so worried about our world environment and polluted air, streets, forests but the insides of our houses are more polluted and dangerous for many then anything we would find outside our home. We always put the cart before the horse. Get your homes in order then start worrying about the world’s environment. Sometimes consecrating on the world environment is a good excuse to keep ourselves so busy with a noble cause so we don’t feel guilty about not taking care of your homes.

  45. Jan C says

    I loved this article but hope to read it again when I get home so I can put it into use. I need all the organizing tips I can get. I want to put my house on the market and really need to declutter. Someone told me to take photos of the stuff I really wanted to save, and then toss the item or give it away. I don’t know if this is going to work, I have 50 years of memories in this house to save.

    • says

      Jan here are a couple of articles of ours that are about moving. Between us we have moved about 12 times in the past few years so pretty much have it down pat. Because we do move so often we even have a book on it you might like to try. Most people have found the book has saved they times over what it cost in time, energy and money, Even if you don’t want to buy the book you might want to check out the sales page. We have a huge list of ideas from the book that you could use and might help you too.

      Moving and other Fun Things
      Moving Idea

      Moving on a Dime

  46. Ann Maines says

    The hardest part of cleaning or organizing is getting out of the recliner! I am convinced that recliners, not televisions or computers or games, drain us from all sense and sensibility when it comes to basic cleaning of the house. :-)

  47. Emma says

    Have you been spying on me? Lol! I am literally sitting in my living room, wasting time whilst trying to summon the mental energy to tidy my very messy house. I went to bed dreading today. I woke up dreading today, only to find that it had snowed as well which made the school run much longer and my time for tidying much shorter. I’ve drank tea, had a second breakfast, tried to dream up other jobs which are more pressing and eventually logged onto my emails and read this article in your newsletter. I actually laughed when I read your organizing 101! Thank you for the kick up the backside that I desperately needed. I’m off to make my home beautiful for when my children and husband come home.

  48. Fay says

    We all seem to get overwhelmed at times. These jobs may take a while. There are 2 things that, when I do them, really helps.
    1. Make a list of what needs to be done. Don’t cross jobs out when they are done, use a highlighter on it instead. This makes what you did glow, and in turn will make you glow. Otherwise you have a paper marked all up and all you see is what you didn’t do.
    2. Steal time; may jobs take less than 1 minute. I can sort a stack of magazines, divide junk mail from important stuff (don’t open the mail just sort it), dump the crumbs from my silverware tray, refill the toilet paper back up holder, file 10 papers, return a book to its shelf, straighten the laundry bottles, fold & put away just the dish towels, wipe my bathroom mirror or any appliance in less than 1 minute each–I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Most my stealing happens while I am waiting for something/someone else (like waiting for a pot to boil,on hold on the phone, waiting for a movie to load, waiting for DH to find his keys). I like to clean my purse while waiting for a DR appt. or hair appt. etc.

  49. Tommie says

    When I donate clothing, books, furniture, decorative items, appliances,, etc. I keep a simple list of what I am donating along with a price one would expect to pay for the item at a charity/church resale store. Takes a few minutes, but the dollars really mount up and can be deducted from income tax as charitable donations when you do an itemized return. Try to be honest in your pricing. The charity organization will give you a receipt to attach to your list for taxes. I have done this for years. I feel better knowing someone will get use from the items and I can get an honest deduction. Tommie

  50. Christine says

    We just moved to FL from MA. We went from a 4 bdrm house w/ a finished basement, to a 923′ 2 bdrm apt. We left the couch and recliner, corner pc desk, microwave cart, and bakers rack. I am doing my best to unpack all these boxes, but if I find anything we don’t use or have outgrown, I put them in a box for goodwill. Do you have any other tips for down sizing?

  51. Wendy says

    I have two things I always listen to when cleaning: Mamma Mia (the musical, on DVD, playing in the background), or an album I like from years ago. Because I always pick one of these two to play while I clean, my mind has started associating cleaning with them and vice versa. If I hear a song from that album, it’s just a song from that album. But if I hear two, or if I play that album, my mind starts looking to clean! Same thing with Mamma Mia; if I play that movie I don’t really want to watch it; I want to go do something else (which is funny because it’s actually one of my favorite movies!). If I’m cleaning without Mamma Mia or the album playing, I always find myself singing a song from them aloud! 😛


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