Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Fine Art of DeCluttering

About 6 years ago I was introduced to the de-cluttering
craze that was hitting the country and beyond. I come
from a long line of hoarders, lovers of all things
beautiful...even too many things of beauty!
And when the things become a burden,
making it too hard to clean, keep order
or live comfortably, it's time to reduce the 'stuff'!
I am fascinated with collecting, people who
collect...what and why...and how it can
become an obsession.
One of my favorite professional cleaning/decluttering
people is Don Aslett. He has written some great,
entertaining and inspiring books on how to
bring some order into your life.
I've checked them out at the library many times!
You just can't read one of his books without
having a sudden urge to jump up and
organize something in your home!
My favorite part of his books are the stories
of real people and things that they've hoarded.
When they finally 'saw the light' and
started cleaning out their homes, they have
listed some incredible things they had kept!
One thing that has always stuck in my mind was
the story he tells of someone saving a jar full of
scraps of string. The jar was labelled just for that
purpose. Hmmm....and why keep these?
Even the label admits that they are useless.
It's a humerous reminder that some things just
need to be thrown in the trash!
January is the perfect time to organize and
clean...and I'm always inspired when I think of this jar!
Flylady.com is a good website with daily chores to
do to keep your house and life neat and tidy. But their
website is so cluttered it bothers me to go there!
Isn't that ironic!? I did just find organizedhome.com
which looks very nice. I may just have to stop in
and get some inspiration once in a while!


  1. Great find, that website. Will bookmark that. Love the scraps of string jar--now that is what i call useless! Ha. If one are going to collect something, make sure it is either beautiful or useful!

  2. HJappy 2009 Betsy and much joy in the new year!

    My husband is the ultimate organizer -- me, not so much! I think I like a lot of "stuff" as I get attached to the memories associated with it. I have a hard time parting with paper items such as cards, postcards, and children's books and special toys my children had, etc.
    I would not be emotionally attached to a jar full of string however --glad not to be that much of a hoarder --lol.

    I don't care for the Flylady website either...as you said her website is very cluttered. I shall check out "organized home" --thanks for the link!

  3. Isn't interesting that Papa and I spend sometime this week doing the same thing... right after 'de-Christmasing' the house!!

  4. Techno ~ oh, me too! It seems my spring cleaning starts with taking the tree down! :) My housecleaning seems to fall away between Thanksgiving and New Years! It's a great time to clean, unclutter and do something new!

  5. I spent part of this evening decluttering my kitchen counters. I think I need one of Don Aslett's books to inspire throughout the rest of the house.

    The professor tells me that he's ripping out some of the kitchen cabinets next weekend... nothing like that kind of news to make one dig out and clean out! Ack, more dust on my horizon!

  6. I like his books as well. Maybe I should check one out from the library for some fresh inspiration.

  7. that's quite funny...and makes me fearful to look more closely at the contents of my "special drawer."

  8. Betsy, I loved this. I can SO relate to the hoarding as my mom does that to the max (for instance - she saves the caps on toothpaste tubes. I am not kidding - she has a grocery bag full). I'm better than her, but I definitely struggle. I need to read an Aslett book, I think ... I got the FlyLady e-mails for awhile, but their frequency drove me nuts. Happy decluttering to you!

  9. Ohhhh, I love decluttering, a very freeing feeling.

  10. My husband is such a hoarder, I'm a thrower away-er! I could really do with him reading this book!

    CJ xx

  11. Betsy...I remember when you got "into" the Aslet books and read them myself. I get SOOOOO excited about the month of January as I LOVE to put the BUMP up on cleaning out! I think it is fun...but to so many others it is pure HELL!

    Happy organizing!

  12. I never thought about it but that is probably why I can't stand the flylady site. Thanks for sharing a possible new solution :)

  13. Oh my. My mom saved everything. She began when she left the mountains of West Virginia where they had nothing. She got to Ohio and began saving. A ball of string that was always being added too. A box of buttons. Things like that. I am somewhat surprised that I now have cakepans filled with any and everything you can imagine -- from screws to keys and things I no longer recognize.

  14. But you could tie several pieces of the string or more together and have a size you need for something. LOL I need to start throwing out things I haven't used in the past year. But sure as I do, then within a week I'll need it. LOL

  15. I could certainly use some help with decluttering a couple of rooms in my home. In fact...that was my project today and tomorrow..to try to declutter and reorganize this office area...so I can add in Noah's school stuff and a small arts/craft area. I finally got some shelves...but realize I may need a table as well.....and probably some containers to put the stuff in that will go on the shelves.....and I have to have space to move all these boxes in here OUT before I can start...and I realized until I take my tree down from Christmas that may not now happen.

    Or could I just be finding another excuse to put this off yet another week? I am surrounded by boxes now!

    I have been to flylady.com too....I enjoy her site but it is a bit busy. I will have to check out the other site you posted

  16. MG ~ you would really enjoy the Aslett books! They are inspirational and very entertaining! How exciting to have the renovations start a new chapter in the kitchen! I'd love to rip out my whole kitchen!

  17. girlsinwhitedresses ~ I just had to laugh at saving the toothpaste caps! But it isn't that uncommon! People save the weirdest things...and some of them are quite gross...used bandaids, broken rubberbands, etc....it always makes me want to carry a trashcan through the house and load up! ha-ha!

  18. Melinda ~ my tree is still up, too! ...tomorrow when the kids are back to school...the decluttering and cleaning starts! Have fun setting up the new home school area...the perfect time to declutter and organize!

  19. My mother might have one of those jars of string.....I'm just saying in our family we call it "the sickness"...the clutter gene...we all have it in abundance, but a trip to mother's is enough to cure the most hardcore of us. (she doesn't really keep string, but she does have way too many nice things...way too many!)

  20. You inspire me! Thanks for posting that great visual. It is perfect for the unloading boxes season! :)

  21. Lol! Well those pieces of string would have been good as compost fodder...

  22. I like to do this all year long...it's an illness, I'm sure! My mom tends to be a hoarder, and I told her next time we come to visit I'm "doing" her house.


  23. Oh, and being in the military and moving every few years and having to go through every single item you own is a HUGE help to the decluttering process.


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