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For Your Residence February 22, 2016

5 Ways to Reduce Clutter Before It Gets Through the Door


Do you politely refuse unwanted things others might try to hoist on you? Do you worry what friends might say if they don’t see their gift on the shelf? Do you battle with yourself about yet another decorative item from Home Sense? Here are 5 tips to help navigate sticky situations, leaving your home unburdened and your friendships intact.

1. Just say, “No, thank you” to free stuff.

Do you really want that corporate mug or Niagara Falls T-shirt? Do not fool yourself into thinking its okay to accept them — once through your front door, they’re tough to get rid of.

2. Give yourself a shopping mantra.

What to do when you are the one causing most of the clutter build-up in your home? It helps to have a brief but powerful word or phrase that gets to the heart of how you want your home to feel, such as “clean and spacious”. Repeat these words to yourself while shopping.

3. Politely discourage gift giving.

If your home is small or you are trying to pare back and simplify your life, share this information with family and friends. Once they know your goals, and how important they are to you, they are more likely to keep them in mind when choosing gifts for you.

4. Set a good example.

If you give tons of presents, friends and family may feel you expect that of them too! If you want to receive fewer gifts, scale back your own giving first. Give experiences, consumables and donations to charitable organizations close to your heart. These options can be fully enjoyed without having to be displayed in your home. Examples:

  • Replace kitchen items with homemade preserves or cooking lessons
  • Replace toys with a membership to a local museum
  • Replace clothes or jewellry with a gift certificate for a spa services
  • Replace art with a trip to the art gallery
  • Replace home décor with a donation to Habitat to Humanity

5. Always express your heartfelt thanks for the sentiment behind a gift.

But don’t beat yourself up about giving it away. When someone gives you a gift, say “thank you”. You are really thanking them for the thought and effort that went into giving you the gift. If the gift doesn’t fit into your uncluttered life, don’t feel bad about giving it to someone who will make good use of the gift.Note: There are times when it may be more important to keep the gift: Family heirlooms, art, hand-knitted items and quilts come immediately to mind.

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3 Big New Year Resolutions For Home Organization & Decluttering

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Written by Karen Pivnick

Karen Pivnick is the owner and operator of Topcat, a professional organizing and move management service. Karen has a strong desire to help people. Combined with meticulous organizing skills and corporate experience, she always delivers the highest level of professional yet personal service.