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Before you move onto day 4 of Help declutter my home -be sure to read:
Day 1- Clutter is weighing me down
Day 2- how it was affecting our family
Day 3- How I started to minimize. HOW I DECIDED WHAT STAYED & WHAT WENT

Help declutter my home

Clutter… it can weigh you down physically and emotionally.   It puts ties on you and it can cause stress.   You can’t organize clutter.  You have to eliminate it!  

Here is the logic that I used when going through my stuff.

If the answer was YES, it stayed.  If it was NO, it was gone.

First up…

Toys- This one is huge for us!  If you read the story about the family on Oprah (from day 2), this part will be much easier!

First- We had our local consignment sale and I added the toys to that sale that I thought about at the time (it is very time-consuming).   When it was over, whatever was left was donated and the major overhaul that came a week later resulted in more donations.  I did not want to add ANOTHER THING to my list by trying to sell things.   MORE EMOTIONAL STRESS & CLUTTER.

I used three questions when deciding if a toy should stay or go: If the answer was YES, the toy stayed.  If the answer was NO, the toy was donated.  No second thoughts!

*** REMEMBER- Your child will probably be getting new toys for birthdays and holidays, so if you keep adding to it, your clutter will continue to build until it feels like it is burying you.   Don’t be afraid to donate or sell toys.

1. Do the kids play with it at least twice a week?

2.  Do they clean it up and take care of it?

3.  Is it relatively easy to keep track of (no really small pieces, no missing parts)?

Can it be tracked down on the computer or somehow?  (ex: If I used my debit card, I can see my purchase on my bank statement or the store can search and find the product that I bought using my debit card).    If yes, I don’t need to keep my copy.     (Yes, you could scan each one to make them electronic, but lets just be honest with ourselves that we probably will never get around to doing that.) 

Can I transfer it to an electronic file easily?  (I send myself important things via email instead of printing things out, like receipts or confirmations.)

Can I write it down in one place and throw away the copies?   (ex: When our kids bring their calendars home, I go into our playroom, where I keep the home command center, and I write it on the giant calendar.  I check it to make sure that I added it correctly and then I throw it away!)

I will tell you that years ago I stopped keeping such detailed medical notes and records of our son (he had a rough start) and I started trusting that I knew what I needed to know.  I did email myself his allergy results and the names & numbers of his specialists.

The rest is gone.   There was a time a few months ago when we started going to a new Doctor and their office had asked me for our son’s paperwork.  Well, I don’t keep medical records anymore (except names & numbers in an email), but all that I had to do was go to my email, get out my list of Doctors and their names and call them.  I had our records faxed to the new Dr.  It was easy and I didn’t have to keep up with the detailed paperwork.  (I would still keep up with vaccinations, but that is an easy one)

Are you ready for the last day?   CLICK HERE—>>> Mail & e-mail (don’t let that clutter build up!) 
In the meantime- happy de-cluttering! 




Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I thought that emailing important stuff to myself was the greatest thought I’d ever had until my former hotmail account got deleted. I could never get it back, so I lost a bunch of stuff I saved. It’s a great idea, but I should have had a backup.

    1. I had the same worry = I scan everything and email it to myself to my work email, my personal email AND I have it on a memory stick.

  2. This has motivated me to go through some toys this morning! I love your three question strategy!

    Stopping by from the Titus 2sday link up. 🙂

  3. I scan my important papers in to Evernote. I have a single account that I use to keep myself organized at work, school (working on another degree), and at home. I have major folders (called notebooks) and within those folders are subfolders with the individual files I need. I even have a folder where I keep track of the children’s things and it is shared out to my husband so we can both stay up to date. I don’t keep paper copies of things anymore.

    1. good idea! I’ve never used Evernote, but I’ve heard great things about it.

  4. I have been in such a purging and cleaning phase in our home, so this post comes at such a great time for me! I so appreciate this series and will be following along!

    1. Great!! I’m glad it helps. 🙂 Jump over to the 40 days of Organization when you are done w/ this series- its my favorite for de cluttering & organizing. 🙂 (the button for it is on the sidebar)

  5. Be sure to dispose of papers in a secure way. Shred, burn, whatever. Identity theft is prevalent from discarded papers.

    1. Good tip!! My friend’s dad had this happen to him- he ripped up his stuff, but they said he needed to shred it.

  6. This is a great series and very motivating! What do you do with kid’s artwork and crafts from school? I feel so guilty not keeping it, but it’s becoming a big clutter source and it’s not like I’m”enjoying” it while it’s in a tub under the bed.