Organize your day with tips from Emilie Barnes and her book 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter !


Smart Storage Solutions

Sometimes all it takes to eliminate mess, clutter, and confusion are a few hooks here, a basket or two there, and reshuffling items on a shelf. Take a look around your house. Do you have trunks, chests, or baskets that could be used for storage? All of these can look quite lovely in a room while storing blankets, books, DVDs, and other items.

If the piece is large like a trunk and mainly serves as a table or TV stand, then only store items in it that you don’t need regularly, such as heavy blankets or seasonal decorations.

Take a look at where the most clutter gathers in your home. Then see if one of the storage pieces you already have could ease the mess. If not, measure the area or wall space and go visit one of those great stores that specialize in storage units.

With only a few key pieces, you can reform most any cluttered corner. The storage store will also give you ideas for using the baskets, boxes, and chests that you already have.

Filing Financials

Many banks offer bill-paying services to their customers. You can use your computer to communicate with the bank. Each bank has its own format and the remote services are usually easy to set up for home use. This little helper will free you up from having to spend time writing and mailing all your bill payments each month.

How much of your paper pile up is related to financial records? It’s amazing how many bank statements, reports, and paycheck stubs end up in the bedroom or on the kitchen table instead of in a file drawer in a home office or office area!

If you don’t know what to save or shred, learn what to keep and where to keep it.

Separate “permanent” records from “current” records and place permanent documents in a safe-deposit box. File the current records at home using a file system that makes sense to you. Be sure to tell someone where you store your records. Commit to record-keeping each week. There. It really can be that simple. Weekly maintenance is easier than a complete overhaul once a year!

Get Motivated!

Your attitude is one of the most useful tools available in your desire to clean out what is cluttered and make a difference in your home or work environment. This is especially true if one of your biggest obstacles is lack of motivation.

If you look around and see a mess or a setting that doesn’t suit your lifestyle, taste, or your family’s growing needs, don’t be discouraged. And don’t let laziness or lack of motivation stop you from making a change for the better. “Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering” (Proverbs 13:4).

Be one of the diligent, one of the prosperous ones. Turn your negative attitude into an internal dialogue that is encouraging, supportive, and energetic.

Start your day by congratulating yourself on the effort you made the day before. Look at the cupboard you organized or the corner you finally cleared of shoes and baseball caps.

Celebrate the small steps – your attitude will continue to inspire more and more effort.






Appreciate the fix-it jobs he does around the house to keep things in repair, or the yard work. Appreciate the things he buys for you, furniture, clothes, miscellaneous items, and even your grocery money. And appreciate the time he spends with his children. Yes, these things are his duty, but how nice it is to be appreciated, how much it does for a relationship. -Helen Andelin