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Clutter in Your Home: Ten Tips to Avoid It

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • Take out of your closet whatever doesn’t make you feel good or doesn’t fit.
  • When you buy new, get rid of something you’ll no longer choose and don’t buy any new hangers.

Donation Box

  • Keep a permanent donation bag/box handy to put unwanted items into
  • Take it to the nearest charity when it’s full and get a receipt for a tax deduction.

Errands—Need to be taken out often, just like dogs

  • Dry cleaning, items to return to stores or people, banking, mail, repairs, etc.
  • Place things in a basket by the door you exit to take out to the car.

Free or Cheap or Bargain!

  • Just because it’s free, cheap, or a bargain doesn’t mean you want it or need it.
  • Learn to resist this huge cause of clutter. Yard sale buyers beware!


  • Make memories instead of buying or getting stuff.
  • Suggest dinner, a movie, a museum, or a Broadway show.
  • Regifting is great, once it’s yours, you may do with it what you wish.

HSN, QVC and catalogs

  • Beware of these “home invaders”. They want to sell you something you don’t need, don’t have money for, or don’t have the room for.

Keep Lists

  • Lists save money and time.
  • Take a list for all shopping including clothing, household items, food, etc. with details of the item (sizes, dimensions, etc.).

Mail—The biggest culprit of clutter

  • Try to make decisions about your mail once.
  • Throw out all junk mail and rip up all credit card offers.
  • Put bills in the place where you pay them
  • Place papers to be kept or filed (no envelopes) in one place and file once a month.
  • Throw out old catalogs when new ones come, keep in one place alphabetically.
  • Keep invitations, things to take care of, and calls to be made, etc. in one place.


  • Make sure there’s a “home” for everything. Without it, things just lay around.
  • Do a little each day in order to keep it that way. Taking a few moments now will save hours later. Have respect for yourself, your time and your home!

New in/Old out

  • When you buy anything new, throw out or donate the old model/item.
  • Do not put it in the attic, garage, basement or extra room.


Vali Heist is a Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She also writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called 'Ask the Organizer' and has a radio program called 'Organize This!' on BoomerGenerationRadio.com.

Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production.

Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

Member Of:

  • Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Greater Philadelphia Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers
  • National Association of Professional Organizers

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