"De-Cluttering" & Organizing Top Americans' To-Do Lists as Spring Cleaning Season Nears

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The Housekeeping Channel responds to online poll with tips for Spring Cleaning catharsis.

Clearing out your clutter can be cathartic, and it’s the first step in organizing your home

Faced with the daunting task of improving their housekeeping as Spring Cleaning season arrives, Americans overwhelmingly point to “get rid of clutter” and “get organized” as the top items that would make a tremendous improvement in their homes if done consistently, according to an online poll conducted by The Housekeeping Channel® http://www.housekeepingchannel.com.

While the need to “de-clutter” their homes was the top pick among 42.6 percent of all poll respondents, there’s no magic to making all that “stuff” disappear, according to The Housekeeping Channel, but it can be the silver bullet to jump-start your spring cleaning.

“Clearing out your clutter can be cathartic, and it’s the first step in organizing your home," said Allen P. Rathey, founder of the Web site. “Seeing the tops of your counters, desks, and floors of your closets clear will give you a great sense of accomplishment. And getting rid of all types of ‘stuff’ actually frees up space so that you can do that whole-house deep cleaning to start the spring.”

According to The Housekeeping Channel, De-cluttering and organizing require:

  •      Time—Even several small blocks of time will do the trick!
  •     Hands—of everyone who lives in the home; we all share responsibility for clutter and for de-cluttering.
  •     Trash bags
  •     Storage boxes or bins
  •     Shredder (or a plan to shred elsewhere)
  •     Determination—that you can and you will cut way down on clutter

“Get organized” received 13.9 percent of the online votes, followed by “get motivated” (11.3 percent). The poll was concluded in February 2006 with 1591 total votes.

“Ultimately, cutting down on clutter, organizing, and keeping a clean home are the keys to keeping a healthy indoor home environment,” Rathey said. “At The Housekeeping Channel, we want to demystify what might seem to be overwhelming tasks and to help motivate people to clear out and clean up.”

To help motivate American Spring cleaners, The Housekeeping Channel Offers its “10 Tips for De-Cluttering”:

  •      Focus! Select a room and then focus on one closet, bureau, or corner at a time.
  •      Categorize. Sort “stuff” into four broad categories: trash; everyday items; storage (such as seasonal clothing, decorations, etc.); and donate or sell.
  •      Take the ‘trash test’! If you can’t decide to keep or toss something, tell yourself truthfully if you’ve used it in the past year. If not, it’s probably time to donate, sell or drop it in the trash!
  •      File paperwork. Create files for paperwork you need to keep, and store them in a file box or cabinet. Shred anything else with personal data, and ‘file’ everything else into a recycle bin!
  •      Simplify documents—safely. Keep ‘life’ documents (titles, deeds, passports, etc.) in a safety deposit box, ongoing financial records and insurance policies in a fireproof box, and a list of all important documents and their locations in a master file.
  •      Follow the ‘in-and-out’ rule. When you buy something new, find one item to remove from your home.
  •      Use the ‘at hand’ system. Store items as close as possible to where you usually use them.
  •      Label boxes & bins. You’ll know where to put items away and where to find them when you need them!
  •      Clutter-proof your storage areas. Add shelving and/or storage hooks to your garage, basement, or closets, to keep items from piling up.
  •      Take a clutter-free pledge. The more people you have in your home the greater the opportunity for clutter can be. Everyone should promise to prevent clutter in their own spaces, put things away where they belong, and not allow piles of ‘stuff’ to sprout on counter, tables, desks and floors!

Articles on http://www.housekeepingchannel.com detail strategies for clearing out clutter, organizing your home, and taking on spring cleaning.

The Housekeeping Channel®

The Housekeeping Channel is a focused media and consumer resource in the cleaning, motivation, home organization and indoor environment categories that is frequently consulted by the online and print press as a source of factual information for articles in women’s, family, consumer and general interest publications.

The Housekeeping Channel strives to be the Web’s most comprehensive storehouse of information and resources to help households everywhere achieve a cleaner, more organized and healthier indoor environment. The site provides how-to tutorials, plus news and reviews regarding the latest innovations from the cleaning products industry to improve the home environment. Resources include time-saving systems, tools and motivation for keeping a better house at the click of a mouse.

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Allen Rathey
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