Keep Clutter From Coming Back

Getting to clutter-free is only half the job; you'll need to develop new attitudes and habits to keep clutter from coming back. Follow these simple strategies for sustainable clutter-free living.

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Unused Clothes DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Home, Home on the Range
A primary cause of clutter? It's the homeless ... mail, toys, or newspapers. Without a home, common household items wander, lose their way, meet bad companions, and make the transition to clutter.

Establish good homes for your stuff. Newspapers may be folded and stacked on a coffee table before being read, then given shelter in a box while they wait for recycling. Devote prime domestic real estate to use as a Launch Pad for each family member: a location for purses, school papers, backpacks, and briefcases. Give paperwork proper files so it never has to huddle in lonely stacks on kitchen counters. With a home to go to, good stuff will never become bad clutter.

One-In, One-Out Promise

The simplest way to deny clutter houseroom? Make the One-In, One-Out Promise. For every new garment, game, DVD, or magazine that enters your home, resolve that one older garment, game, DVD, or magazine must leave. For example, when this month's issue of your favorite magazine arrives in the mail, set aside an older issue to share at the library. Pretty new towels may enter your home only if the older set is recycled for use as car-wash rags or put in the charity bag.


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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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