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Decluttering 74 Stories

Many of us have a problem with clutter. It can be so hard to get rid of things. Often the difficulty comes down to deciding whether something really is clutter. The struggle can be internal (“I could use this some day”), or with various family members (“Are you kidding me? That was my Aunt Agatha’s!”)...
Blast Decluttering Roadblocks Once and for All
There is enough advice on decluttering and organizing to fill an entire wing of a bookstore, and a quick online search brings up billions of results. But if it were as simple as picking up a book and following the author's advice, wouldn't we all...
4 Obstacles to Decluttering — and How to Beat Them
My husband and I began dating when we were still children. He was 16 and I was 15, back in the olden days when people still talked on the phone and wrote letters. By the time we got married and had three kids, we had almost 20 years of correspondence....
Decluttering — How to Get the Help You Need
My friend Jane is one of those peculiar people who gets energy from pulling order out of chaos. She owns and runs a bed-and-breakfast in her home, a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion. Her kitchen is a wonder of organization; even her label maker is labeled....
7 Tips to Get With a New Minimalist Mentality
Years ago, when my children were little and our home was awash in toys, laundry and papers — to name the top three categories of stuff I found overwhelming — from time to time, when I was feeling exhausted and entirely beleaguered, I would imagine...
Decluttering — Don't Let Fear Hold You Back
So you know you want to declutter. Or perhaps you know you need to, but the thought of actually doing it makes you want to crawl back into bed and stay there for, like, ever. So many decisions! They make your head hurt. Don't be discouraged if...
'Not My Precious Books!' — Pain-Free Ways to Declutter Your Library
Years ago I was chatting with an acquaintance, and she referred to a weekly meeting she attended without naming it. I asked her what it was. "Overreaders Anonymous," she said. I froze. I had no idea there...
Surprising Ways to Pare Down at Home
Like anyone who enjoys poring over home design photos, I appreciate well-designed, beautiful objects and gracious spaces. I treasure images of cozily overstuffed rooms brimming with books and squashy pillows. But the fact is (a fact I am slowly and reluctantly...
Get Organized: Are You a Piler or a Filer?
I read an article in a magazine years ago that changed my life. In an interview a professional organizer essentially said, “There are filers and there are pilers. Too often pilers try to turn themselves into filers,...
The Wisdom of Kenny Rogers, for Declutterers
If you were alive in the late '70s, you probably have at least one song from Kenny Rogers' album The Gambler tattooed on your brain. I was and I have two: "Lucille" and "The Gambler" — at least the choruses, that is. I loved to twang along...
10 Steps for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Objects
Old photographs, hand-me-down tea sets, sweaters, school art projects — we all have some variations of these items, just sitting in boxes, waiting for … er, what is it they are waiting for, exactly? A day when you will suddenly wake up and feel a...
10 Tricks to Help Your Bathroom Sell Your House
Buyers love the allure of a fresh, beautiful bathroom that reminds them of luxury hotels or soothing spas they have enjoyed. And, most important, buyers want to envision themselves enjoying this luxury every day in their new home. However,...
A Junk Room Gets a Crafty Makeover
While some of us may see underutilized space in the house as the perfect dumping ground for miscellaneous bits and bobs, others see it as an opportunity to create something useful, and this room is the perfect example. Beneath all the clutter...
5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door
Can you nicely refuse unwanted things others might try to foist on you? What can you say when relatives do not see the gifts they have given you proudly displayed on the mantel? And how can you win the battle with your own mind as you try to shove yet...
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