6 Simple Ways to Eliminate Paper Clutter


I’m a paper person and a list-maker. I love using a paper planner (the Clean Mama Planner is coming soon!), a homekeeping binder, a wall calendar, writing hand-written notes and cards….  I tend to err on the side of more paper than less, but I loathe paper clutter.  There’s a difference!

If you are looking for ways to eliminate paper clutter, start here:

  • Deal with it daily.  The #1 secret to keeping paper clutter to a minimum is to deal with it daily.  Processing mail, school papers, and any other paper that makes its way into your home right away is the best way to keep it from becoming overwhelming.
  • Get rid of unwanted mail.  There’s a free app called PaperKarma – just scan your unwanted mail, they contact the sender, and the mail is gone.  TrustediD is another company that gets rid of unsolicited magazines and junk mail (for free).  If you’re sick of getting those pre-screened credit offers you can go to OptOutPreScreen to get off that list.
  • Scan important papers.  Save them to an external drive or cloud storage.  Here are a couple I like:
    Evernote – a way to digitally remember everything
    Neat – digital scanning and cloud storage
    Doxie – digital scanning made simple
  • Send cards and invitations digitally. Paperless Post is adorable and they have a free section too.  I send out paper Christmas cards and birthday cards to family but for kids party invitations or just cute little birthday cards to friends, I like a quick emailed note.
  • Store photos digitally.  I’m sure that this is another post, but I use Shutterfly and DropBox, but there are lots of options out there for slimming down the picture stacks.  Print a book once every year or two and you’ll be on your way to keeping those photos updated.  If you’re behind, start with the current year and work backwards.
  • Store pdfs and printables digitally.  I store pdfs in Dropbox too.  Set up a folder for each category and you can quickly find any printables you need. Everything’s stored in the cloud and can be found on any device – easy peasy.  Did you know that if you have a tablet, like an iPad you can use printables paperless with an app like Notability that lets you digitally write on your pdfs and take notes with you anywhere?

Curious on how long you should keep paper for?  Check out this free printable guide!

How Long Should I Keep It? Infographic via Clean Mama

How about you?  What’s your best tip for staying on top of the paper clutter?

This post is part of a CLUTTER MINI CHALLENGE – go here to check it out!

clutter mini challenge


4 Simple Steps to Clutter-Free Kitchen Counters


Counter clutter can be overwhelming and it can also freeze you from moving forward. Cluttered counters can create ’noise’ in a space, making it difficult to relax and enjoy the space, not to mention taking up extra space. Make it a goal this week to keep your kitchen counters clear in between meals.  You’ll be surprised how keeping your counters clear can help eliminate that disorganized and cluttered feeling.

Here are a couple simple steps to tackle that counter clutter:

  1. Completely clear your counters.  Remove everything and place it on your kitchen or dining room table.
  2. Wipe your counters with your favorite cleaner and cloth or with a sponge and warm, soapy water.  Here’s my favorite granite cleaning recipe – it’ll change your counter cleaning forever 🙂
  3. Evaluate your counter items – is there anything that you don’t use daily that can be put in a different place or in a cupboard or cabinet?  Is there anything that you can donate or give away?  Before you move everything back, take a minute to edit your counters a bit.  If you only use your toaster or blender once or twice a week and you have limited counter space maybe it would be better stored elsewhere.  A little space on the counters is a good thing – you don’t need to fill it up!
  4. Put the remaining items back on your counters and think about zones as you return the items.  If you keep baking goods (flour, sugar) on the counter, put them back by where you store your mixer or measuring cups.  Put your coffee pot back by the coffee mugs.  And so on…

Once you’ve returned your items to the counters, keep them cleared off this week.  After every meal put things back where they belong, don’t pile dishes on the counters, and empty your sink and dishwasher as soon as you are able.  If you’re a mail stacker, sort your mail right away and don’t leave it on the counters.  If you really work at this this whole week, you’ll see how easy it is to keep it up, it’s when you let it go that it becomes a chore and a nuisance.


This post is part of a CLUTTER MINI CHALLENGE – go here to check it out and follow along on Instagram.




4 Simple Ways to Eliminate Digital Clutter


It’s a digital world and much like paper clutter, digital clutter is a real thing.  An inbox full of unanswered emails can give you that same overwhelmed feeling as a pile of paper and bills on the kitchen counter.  For me, the trick to managing digital clutter is having a couple systems in place to deal with it on a daily basis. Systems like folders for emails, automated filing in gmail, and keeping the information that comes at me controlled and intentional is important. Being able to locate an email at a moment’s notice is just as essential as being able to locate an important bill or statement.

  1. Clean up your computer desktop.  Delete anything unwanted, not needed, and unnecessary.  This goes for files, images, and apps.  Create folders on your desktop to put items in so you can locate them later.
  2. Clean up your tablet and/or smart phone screen.  Delete apps and/or put apps in files to keep your screen less cluttered.  Turn off notifications in your settings so you aren’t getting notifications on your screens too.
  3. Unfollow any feeds that don’t help or uplift you. Digital clutter is a real thing and it contributes to distraction and can even give you a little anxiety if you turn on your computer, tablet, or phone and are overwhelmed by the information coming at you.  I don’t have any social media apps on my iPhone (except Instagram) just to keep the information off my phone.  I don’t like feeling like I’m missing something or need to look at my phone all the time.  Trust me, you might miss it for a day or two, but it’s so nice to have those distractions off my phone.
  4. Keep a zeroed out inbox.  I love having a zeroed out inbox – I keep it this way by unsubscribing when necessary and by making use of folders for keeping action items at the ready. Use Unroll.me to get rid of unwanted email subscriptions (this is a free service that I personally use and love – they have no idea who I am).  I did this a couple weeks ago and I deleted over 700 subscriptions – yikes!

How about you?  What’s your best tip for getting rid of digital clutter?

This post is part of a CLUTTER MINI CHALLENGE – go here to check it out and follow along on Instagram.

clutter mini challenge


Clutter Mini Challenge

I’m challenging myself (and you!) to a little CLUTTER MINI CHALLENGE this week!  Follow along on Instagram for each daily challenge.  I’ll be showing you my completed challenge in our home ‘live’ as it’s completed each day and sharing a couple posts throughout the week as well.


The premise is that with about 15 minutes each day, we can do a couple little decluttering tasks that will carry us through the busy holiday-filled months ahead. Living in a clutter-free home is a huge time saver but if you don’t have time to start, it’s probably feels overwhelming and impossible.  This week let’s get started and make some progress!  I’m linking up some posts here (just click on the image) that will be helpful if you’d like to check out what I’ve said before on decluttering.  I’ll be posting all of my live progress on Instagram so follow along or peek over there each day.

Make sure you sign up for my posts too!

Ready for a mini challenge?  Here are the tasks for each day:

MONDAY – Do a quick 15 minute declutter – grab a garbage bag or two and fill it up!  Fill the bag with things that can leave the house – toss in the garbage or donate.  A quick, fast and furious declutter session is the perfect way to kick off any decluttering project.  Start in the main areas of your home and gather what you can in 15 minutes.  Continue if you have more time and more clutter or just call it good after 15 minutes – it’s up to you!

5 Reasons to Declutter via Clean Mama

TUESDAY – Digital declutter – get rid of some digital clutter.  Use Unroll.me to get rid of unwanted email subscriptions (this is a free service that I personally use and love – they have no idea who I am) or clean up your computer desktop or smart phone screen.  Digital clutter is a real thing and it contributes to distraction and can even give you a little anxiety if you turn on your computer, tablet, or phone and are overwhelmed by unanswered or unopened emails.  I find that I feel the best when I have an zeroed out inbox – I keep it this way by unsubscribing to things that aren’t helpful or uplifting and by making use of folders for keeping action items at the ready.


WEDNESDAY – Clear and declutter kitchen counters – clear counters = clean(er) kitchen.  Quickly clear the kitchen counters of any clutter – mail, paper piles, school papers, trinkets, and any other items that you don’t use daily.  Put things away, file the papers, and wipe down the counters with warm, soapy water.


THURSDAY – Tackle the paper pile – if you have more than one, choose the worst offender.  Paper clutter is exhausting and can quickly take over a large space in no time.  I deal with mail on a daily basis and find that it’s the best way to keep the paper clutter away for good.  Nothing piles up, the counters are cleared off and I don’t get that overwhelming feeling when I walk into the kitchen or my office.  Make that your goal and just deal with one pile today and keep going with a pile every day until you get rid of the piles.

8 Ways to Get a Handle on Paper Clutter via Clean Mama

FRIDAY – Go through your refrigerator, toss expired items and wipe down shelves.  I like to do this on Fridays, make a menu plan for the week ahead, and then head to the grocery store.  This is a huge timesaver in so many ways during the week.  The fridge is clean and stocked AND I know what we’re eating.

The Best Way to Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator via Clean Mama

I love doing mini challenges – here are two more – Fall Organization Mini challenge and Menu Planning Mini Challenge.


How to Decorate So Cleaning Is Easy

How to Decorate So Cleaning Is Easy - Tips, Tricks, and Methods that Work - Clean Mama

If you have been cleaning your home for any length of time, you know that it’s much easier to clean if you aren’t cleaning around clutter.  Have you heard the phrase, “cleaning for the cleaning lady”?  Same principle, it’s easier to clean when you don’t have anything to clean around or move to clean.  I decorate with a minimalist approach, but I love mixing in things that we love or just plain enjoy.

Mantle - Clean Mama

If you find that you are having to clean before you clean or that cleaning itself takes a ridiculous amount of time, I’d love to show you a couple decorating strategies and tips that really (really) work.  When I say that it only takes about 15 minutes to dust our entire house, disbelief ensues.  It really only takes me 15 minutes to dust and it’s because, a.) I hate clutter, and b.) I move fast and use the right tools.  You can see my favorites here.

Duster - Clean Mama

I have a fairly simple decorating strategy – if it’s useful (as in, we use it), and/or we love it, it stays out.  Otherwise, it probably leaves the house or finds its way to a storage box in the basement.  If the item is stored it’s because I know we’ll use it again or I’m saving it for some reason.  For instance, when the kids were itty bitty, I put fragile items in storage.  I’m starting to pull some of those items out again and if I still love it, it’s going out of the box and getting used OR it’s given away or sold.

How to Decorate So Cleaning Is Easy - Clean Mama

Let’s talk about decorating for a minute, shall we?  Decorating is personal.  It reflects your style, your memories, your life.  I’m not going to tell you what to use to decorate WITH, or what style to use, but I do have some tips to make cleaning and keeping your home clean in between cleanings easy.

Living Room - Clean Mama


  1. KEEP SURFACES AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE.  Clear surfaces are always easier to clean than full surfaces.  This is obvious, but hard to remember.  Try this approach if you need a refresher course.
  2. DECORATE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE.  If you don’t love it, don’t keep it around.  If you notice something out isn’t working for you anymore or that you can’t remember why you have it out to begin with, put it away for a bit and see if you miss it.
  3. DECLUTTER OFTEN.  I list ‘clutter’ every day on my cleaning routine, that’s because I know that if clutter isn’t dealt with daily, it becomes a problem.  Get in the habit of putting things away after using them is huge.
  4. FEELING OVERWHELMED?  Completely clear multiple surfaces in a room, clean them and let them ‘breathe’ for a bit.  You might like having those surfaces less decorated moving forward. If you’re unsure of what to decorate a surface with, remove everything and add back little by little until you reach a look that you love.
  5. BE SMART ABOUT STORAGE.  Most people and homes need some form of storage.  When you buy furniture, look for pieces that serve multiple purposes.  One of our coffee tables has small doors and we store games and puzzles in it.  A dining room buffet can hold dishes, linens, and other dining room items.
  6. GET RID OF STUFF.  If you are holding on to things that you no longer need, want, or love, it’s time to get rid of them.  Set a goal or daily ritual of decluttering a spot, filling a bag, setting a timer for 5-10 minutes, whatever works for your situation.

Entryway - Clean Mama


Simplify your spaces so you aren’t moving items around to clean.  Quickly dusting over a surface with one or two used and loved items is much easier than clearing a space, cleaning it, cleaning the items, and then returning them.

Corner - Make Cleaning Easy - Clean Mama

What’s your best tip for decorating to keep cleaning easy?

This post is part of a brand new series – HOME TOUR – go here to see a post about the colors in our home.

A Whole House Color Scheme - Clean Mama

Have you seen Clean Mama Home?  Wait until you see how cute cleaning can be!




6 Surfaces to Clear If Your House Feels Cluttered

6 Surfaces to Clear If Your House Feels Cluttered via Clean Mama

Clean and cleared surfaces add that breathing room that your home desperately needs.  But do you feel like everyone is talking about clutter and how we need it out of our homes right now?  I think that the key is to deal with the clutter every single day and have a plan for when it does come into the house (school papers, mail, stuff).  If you’ve seen my cleaning routine, you know that ‘clutter’ is on the daily routine because if it isn’t dealt with daily it’s going to become a problem (for me).

But what if you haven’t dealt with the clutter daily and need to start somewhere?  Try clearing a couple surfaces.  I promise you’ll feel better and like you can continue with the decluttering process.  It might just be what you need to get started. One surface at a time and within minutes you’ll start feeling like you’re making progress.

Clear Kitchen Counters via Clean Mama

KITCHEN COUNTERS  – Counters tend to be clutter collectors, but they don’t have to be!  Quickly remove any and all clutter from your kitchen counters and place it on your kitchen table.  Wipe your counters with your favorite cleaner or with a sponge and warm, soapy water.  Put away/keep/toss any clutter so that it doesn’t go back on the counters.

Wash Counters via Clean Mama

REFRIGERATOR – Have lists and reminders plastered on the front and sides?  Remove them and quickly keep or toss necessary paper and reminders.  Give it a quick wipe down concentrating on the handles and getting rid of fingerprints.  (If you have stainless steel appliances, you’ll love this trick.)

Clean Refrigerator via Clean Mama

KITCHEN SINK – A clean kitchen sink just screams tidy, don’t you think?  Take a couple minutes and empty your sink, put clean dishes away, and load up your dishwasher.  Run the dishwasher if it’s full or if you don’t have a dishwasher, wash and dry the dishes.  Once the sink is empty, give it a little squirt of dish soap and a scrub it up.  Need a little abrasive cleaning?  You can add a little baking soda to the dish soap to make an all-purpose scrub and scrub away.  Put out a clean dish towel and move on to the next surface.

Step-by-Step Nightly Sink Scrub via Clean Mama

BATHROOM COUNTERS – If you have extra time, go into your bathrooms, clear and wipe down all the counters.  If you only have a couple minutes, go into the master or main bathroom and clear the counters and wipe them down.  Put out clean hand towels to complete the cleaned up look.

Continue and Repeat in Other Bathrooms via Clean Mama

NIGHTSTAND – Begin and end the day with a relaxed space by clearing your nightstand.  Return any items that don’t belong on your nightstand to their homes.  Give your nightstand a quick dusting and return necessary items like lotion and your current reads.

Keep Books in a Basket and Small Personal Items in a Cute Dish via Clean Mama

WORK SPACE – If you have a desk or area where you pay bills, work from home, etc.  Quickly pick up any loose papers and odds and ends.  Clear the space and return items to their proper homes.

Just like that you’ve given your house a little clean reset and you’re ready for a new day!  What must-do cleaning task would you add to the list?  What are you going to do today?

A couple links you might enjoy – just click the image to go to the page…..

Six Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean via Clean Mama

4 Simple Steps to Clear Kitchen Counters (For Good) via Clean Mama

Feeling Overwhelmed Try one of these simple tasks via Clean Mama

If you need a little help with the dailies, check out Homekeeping Society – it’s a monthly subscription designed to simplify your life!



Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Day 5

Clean Mama's Home Reset Challenge - DAY 5 via CLEAN MAMA

Welcome back to Clean Mama’s Home Reset – day 5!  You made it to the end of the challenge!  Are you ready to take back your home and feel great about it? This mini-challenge was designed for you (and me) to concentrate on those clutter collecting areas and spaces that tend to get neglected or put off. We’re completing the Home Reset tasks while continuing on with the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine – this will ensure forward progress and we’ll get ahead at the same time. Did you print off your FREE printable guide? If you didn’t, go here first and then come back and check out today’s task.

I’ll be back over the weekend with a wrap-up post for the challenge with some ‘now what’ ideas for keeping up with a cleaning routine in the midst of a busy life.  I’ll also have an awesome coupon code just for you too 🙂

Ready? Let’s get started!

Weekly Task for today:

Every Friday is CATCH-ALL DAY – a day to catch up on any uncompleted tasks. Is there something that you didn’t get to this week?  Today’s the day to wrap it up.  If you completed everything but have something that you need to accomplish, do it today.  Typically I use Fridays to pay bills, plan the menu for the coming week, and do a little grocery shopping.

Daily Tasks for Today:

Every day I complete these 4 simple tasks – complete them when it makes sense for you and your schedule – set a timer for 10-15 minutes if you need to, don’t get hung up on these tasks, they get easier as you follow my routine:

  • check floors
  • clean counters
  • clutter
  • laundry

Home Reset Task:

Once your home is quickly dusted and you’ve started a load of laundry or swept under the kitchen table, it’s time tackle today’s task to DECLUTTER CLUTTER COLLECTORS IN YOUR LIVING SPACES.  Choose a spot or two that need a little extra attention today – it can be a bookcase, your mantel, an end table, or a coffee table.  I chose to declutter the mantel and bookcase in our family room.  I also added a couple early fall touches to the mantel 🙂  Here are your simple steps:

  • Set a timer for 15-30 minutes (whatever you have) and choose your spot to declutter.  Consider the time you have and the space you want to tackle today.  Here’s my before, not too bad but everything needed a good dusting and cleaning.
    Declutter Clutter Collectors via Clean Mama
  • Quickly clear the space.
    Completely Empty Space and Wipe Clean via Clean mama
  • Make 4 piles: keep, toss, relocate, donate.
  • Wipe down any surfaces and vacuum if necessary.
  • Put away any items that were in the keep pile, toss what can be tossed, relocate what can be relocated, and put the donate items in a bin or bag for a trip to your favorite local donation center.
  • Arrange items in a way that makes sense for your family and admire your space!
    Organized Clutter Collectors - AFTER via Clean Mama

 I find it really helpful to completely clear a space and edit and add back to come up with a look I love. This space is always changing and morphing with the seasons, but here’s a little touch of fall to get it started.

Early Fall Mantel via Clean Mama

Clean Mama’s Home Reset – Introduction
Clean Mama’s Home Reset FREE Printable Guide
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Sign up so you don’t miss a post!


The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free

The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free via Clean Mama

If you are new here, chances are the title of this blog post reeled you in.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that I am big on simplifying and streamlining tasks around the house.  Keep reading for some realistic action steps you can apply today to getting and keeping your home clutter-free.

If you can relate to at least one of these statements, chances are you can benefit from ONE TASK that will help you and your family keep your home clutter-free:

  • You are always trying to de-clutter.
  • You struggle with too much stuff.
  • You feel crabby when things are left out around the house.
  • You can’t find things quickly.
  • You have threatened to throw out or give away all.the.things.

Ready for the ‘secret’ task that will change everything you know about cleaning house?  That’s a little bit overboard but if you and your family put it into motion, it WILL change how your home looks, feels, and functions.

Take it out, put it away.


Mind blowing, right?  Not really, but it’s a simple thing that will save time and energy every single day when it is put into practice.  When you’re running from one place to another or rushing around, it’s so much easier to just leave that makeup on the counter, those toys on the floor, the dishes on the sink, etc.  Think about how much time you’d save if things where were they belonged AND think about how you’d feel if your house felt less cluttered and messy.

Makeup Out - Makeup Put Away via Clean Mama

Maybe you try really hard to put things away or maybe you remind your kids multiple times a day to put things away, but you still have that cluttered feeling.  Need some realistic and  attainable action steps that you can put into practice TODAY to try this one simple task?

Toys Out - Toys Put Away via Clean Mama


  • WORST CASE SCENARIO | If your home is cluttered and needs some attention immediately, grab three garbage bags and load them up with things to donate or toss.  Still cluttered?  Repeat until you can see the floor and you feel less overwhelmed with the current situation.
  • BEST CASE SCENARIO |  If you simply have a couple scattered things that need to be put away, run around and gather them up in a small laundry basket and put them in their proper places.  Enlist help from other members of your family and get it done in a hurry.
  • SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN | Grab a garbage bag and fill it up with things to toss or donate.  Fill a small laundry basket with things that need to be relocated and put them away.



  • TAKE IT OUT, PUT IT AWAY | Put this simple phrase into practice.  Think about it yourself throughout the day and really try to put things away as you take them out or bring them into the house.  Teach your kids how to put this into practice as well by enforcing the rule throughout the day.  It’s amazing what a difference it will make!
  • CLUTTER | Take care of it daily.  Every single day of the week take a couple minutes to put things away.  For kids, a nightly quick clean up is helpful for putting the habit into practice.  If you notice on my cleaning routine, CLUTTER appears daily.  That’s because it needs to be dealt with on a daily basis.
  • MAIL | Mail and paper have a way of multiplying if they aren’t dealt with routinely.  When you bring the mail in, process it.  When the kids bring home papers, process them.  Don’t let the paper pile up or it will take over your counters and kitchen table.

Mail Out - Mail Processed via Clean Mama

Take it out, put it away.


What do you think?  Is this simple phrase going to change your life?  Tell me what you think in the comments and tell me what tips and tricks you use to put this into practice!

The One Task That Will Keep Your Home Clutter-Free 2 via Clean Mama

If you like this post, check out this post – 6 Things I do Every Day to Keep the House Clean!

Six Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean via Clean Mama


Simple Solutions to Eliminate Paper Clutter

Simple Solutions to Eliminate Paper Clutter via Clean Mama

This week our focus is on paper and paper clutter.  On Monday I suggested that you concentrate on 5 main areas to get started in the big paper purge:

  • shred
  • clear your counters
  • deal with your mail daily
  • get a filing system
  • get others involved

I know that one week isn’t nearly enough time to focus on paper for some of us, but with clutter being a daily task, my hope is that you work on that if you need to as often as you need to, until you’ve accomplished your paper goals.

Today I’d like to show you a few simple ways I’ve eliminated paper clutter in our home with the hope that it gives you some simple strategies and practical solutions that you can put into place or change to meet your needs.

Paper-less Office Organization via Clean Mama

We have a multi-purpose office.  This is my ‘office’ section of the office, we also have an elliptical machine, tv, and an organizer in here too.  I love how this little section is organized – it works great for me.  I went from a desk about three times this size to this smaller one and I love that it forces me to keep it organized and tidy.  I’ve labeled the different sections so you can see how I’ve squeezed things in and organized.  I’ve done posts on some of them before – you can click on the links below for more specifics.

Keep Your Paper Shredder Accessible via Clean Mama

Keep your shredder accessible (if you have little kids keep it unplugged for safety reasons).  Put it in an office or place where you’re sorting and filing to keep the paper piles away.

Hidden Paper Storage via Clean Mama

On the other side of my desk is this storage unit from Costco.  The top four rows are for the kids and the bottom row is business and blog storage bins are for me.  Each of my cuties gets their own bin with a clipboard, supplies (stored in a metal cup to keep it contained and so they can grab it and bring it into the kitchen when it’s homework time), and books or binders for school.  I have a large backpack basket next to the homework bins to keep everything accessible for the kids.

Stop Paper Clutter - Create a Space to Drop Items via Clean Mama

Paper clutter starts in the kitchen (or at least it does in my house).  Create a space or place to drop items to keep them off the counters.  A small organizer to contain simple items and charge phones or other electronics is helpful.  If you are old school like me and still like having phone numbers out by your phone, keep them in a rolodex or address book.  Use a small decorative container to drop your keys, chapstick, and other small items that would otherwise be scattered on your counters.

Magazine Storage via Clean Mama

I’m a big fan of hidden and sneaky storage.  If you’re a magazine and catalog junkie like me, keep them in a basket or bin.  Limit yourself to keeping the magazines in the basket and when it’s full, recycle what you’re done with and keep those magazines off counters and couches and in a special place.

How are you doing with this week’s focus?  Making some progress?  Have a challenge you need some help on?  Ask away!


Follow along! Don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar!




How to Declutter and Simplify Your Life

How to De-Clutter and Simplify Your Life via Clean Mama

I have been de-cluttering like crazy for the past month.  Yes, that photograph is my SUV loaded up with stuff to take to Goodwill – seats down and full.  Dealing with outgrown kids’ clothing, baby stuff, and other items that are taking up space in the basement has been my focus.  We have a large, unfinished basement so it’s easy to just stick stuff down there, but I want to know what’s down there and only keep stuff that is necessary.  Whatever you need to focus on to get things pared down and get you to a place that gives you room to breathe, start de-cluttering.  It’s so enlightening and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.  Heck, you might even make some money by doing it!  Keep reading to see the steps I use to get moving on clearing out the stuff.

  • Use the new year as a starting point – chances are you have a sudden need or urge to organize and get rid of stuff – use it to your advantage and get started!
  • Sort in bins, compartments, bags, whatever – just sort!
  • My favorite sorting categories?  KEEP (because you love it and use it)  TOSS (because no one else could use it because it’s worn or broken)  DONATE (because someone else could use it)
  • Remove yourself from the situation – pretend that you are looking through a friend’s pile of clutter.  Would you tell them to keep, toss, or sell/donate?
  • When it comes to what you will do with the sell/donate items, you need to decide – is it worth your time to sell the items?  or is it more valuable to donate and have the tax deduction?  I sell large items (furniture, baby items) on Craigslist and I donate smaller items that are a big time suck to sell (like baby clothes, books, etc.)  Please note: you might have lots of luck selling clothing in garage sales or online, but I haven’t in my little neighborhood, that’s why I say it’s a time suck.  Hours spent folding, bagging, labeling, and pricing to only watch it sit on a table untouched for 2 days isn’t worth it for me.
  • Work FAST!  Working slowly leaves time for second thoughts and slows down your momentum.
  • Plan for it – I have clutter on the daily calendar – that’s because I need to deal with it daily to keep it away.  Would this help you too?
  • Set your timer – take 5-15 minutes every day to deal with a little (or a lot) of your clutter.  Take care of the mail as soon as it enters your home and do a quick de-clutter before you go to bed to keep things neat and tidy.

Have you been dealing with clutter on a daily basis to get rid of it and keep it away or are you avoiding it right now?  Take a couple minutes every day to work through it if you aren’t already.  You’ll be surprised at how good getting rid of stuff you don’t need makes you feel!

Want to join in on the fun? Grab a FREE cleaning and organizing calendar for January and give it a go. Follow along all month for motivational posts and tips to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks.

Cleaning + Organizing Calendar January 2014 via Clean Mama

Go here to grab your FREE calendar for January 2014!

Want to make 2014 the year that you cleaned and organized everything? Me too!

cmp ad - 250

(If you like the calendar style of this freebie, you’ll love The Simplified Life Series in my shop!)

Follow along! Don’t forget to subscribe in the sidebar!




BrightNest Guest Post: Clutter, Clutter, Everywhere! 5 Tricks to Fight the Mess

Have you seen the BrightNest website?  It’s a great website that puts a fun spin on taking care of your home.  We’re visiting each other’s sites this week and today I have a great post from Jessica at BrightNest to share with you.


BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape. Sign up for a free BrightNest account today!

We all have an Achilles heel of clutter – that catchall for papers, books, knick-knacks and “stuff” in general. Even if the rest of your house is immaculate, this spot (or spots) can be a serious stress zone. Clean it up, clear it out and fight the clutter with these tips.

1. Entryway. If you’ve had a long day, it feels great to drop your bag and empty your pockets at the entryway. The problem is, long days add up. And so does the clutter in your entryway. Creating a system is quicker (and easier) than fighting habits, so identify the problem and adapt: If it’s mail, create a mail system for your family to follow. If it’s shoes, place a shoe rack by the front door. And if keys are the issue, add a bowl to the entryway table or a few hooks to the wall.

2. Under the sink. Your bathroom may look spotless on the surface, but under your sink lurks chaos. Toiletries, hair products and cleaning products all work together to form an intimidating mess. The solution is simple: First, audit what you have. Then, toss what’s old or expired. Lastly, group similar items together in clear containers so you can see what’s there. Done!

3. Top of the fridge. Fridge clutter is generally caused by refugee kitchen items. Make room in your pantries and cabinets for the clutter that’s living on top of your fridge. Once you’ve made some room, move things from on top of the fridge and integrate them into your pantry system. If you can’t break the fridge habit, at least make sure that the items are used every day and organized so that you can see what’s available. Tip: Mason jars make top-of-fridge organization easier.

Go here to see the last 2 clutter-busting tricks!



Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks

In the scheme of things a cleaning routine can seem trivial, but without one your home can get out of control in a hurry.  My hope is to help you gain control over your clutter and start with a fresh approach to cleaning your home.  The tried and true methods and techniques I provide are sure to help you pull yourself together in a hurry.

I’m so excited to introduce you to my eBook…

Pulling Yourself Together:  Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks

Buy Now

What do you get when you purchase Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks?

Five Chapters sure get your home and routine in order:


The chapters have spots to write in thoughts and ideas and ways you’ll implement what you’ve read in your own home. 

Here’s a sneak peek at Chapter Two:


Of course a Clean Mama eBook includes great printables! 

Clutter and chaos taking over your life?  Ready to start Pulling Yourself Together?  This is a color PDF eBook (instant download) that you can print out (recommended method), read on your computer screen, or your iPad or tablet.  I know you’ll love the methods of de-cluttering your home and the simplification of a cleaning routine that this ebook will provide.  Priced at just $10, it’s an inexpensive way for you to put some order in your life.

Add to Cart         View Cart
Want to do some spring cleaning anytime?  Check out my other eBook Cleaning Around the Seasons: Deep Cleaning On Your Schedule


Overwhelmed? Find success in your homekeeping with my latest book, Simply Clean! Dismiss