Fifty Ways To Leave Your Clutter: Part Five


Laney Watson 4th grade Kid's artThis week we’re finishing up our series by Rita Emmett; 50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter. Here are Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four in case you missed them.

~~ That Could Be Art, Bart ~~
41. Make keepsake albums for kids with a 3-ring binder. Include pictures, certificates, cards or letters, and add your own comments. Children can keep this in their rooms and will come to treasure the memories you are providing.
42. Gather up anything that has craft-project potential, including magazines, empty thread spools, buttons, pictures, small plastic thingies, and donate to:
• Scouts
• art teachers
• pre-school, primary or Sunday school teachers

~~ Write Down a Date, Nate ~~
Take things you haven’t used in the past year and put it in a box. Mark the date of six months or a year from now. When the time is up:
43. toss is out, donate it but somehow get rid of it. Do not look inside – you haven’t used it or even missed it. Let it go.

~~ Share That Magazine, Dean ~~
For old magazines or even catalogs. First cross out or tear off your address label. Then:
44. Pass on to a child care center, for use in crafts
45. Leave in dentist, doctor and hospital waiting rooms
46. Give to beauty salons
47. Set out at the lunch area at your office
48. Donate to a senior center or nursing home
49. Give to libraries – they can sell at their fund raising event

~~ Ask Someone You Know, Joe ~~
50. Ask a friend to take away those things that you don’t need but can’t throw out. Let them do with it whatever they want. As I started to convert from my Pack Rat life, I asked my clutter-hating friend, Dorothy to help me dispose of things that I found hard to throw away — like my shoe box full of little packets of ketchup, and well, every shoe box I’ve ever owned. And about a million rubber bands, five broken coffee pots, pens that didn’t work, things like that. No matter what I had, Dorothy would say, “I know a poor family that can use that.” Then she’d cart away my useless stuff. I knew she headed straight for the trash can and dumped everything, but that was fine with me because I’d never use any of it yet I could not throw it away myself. I’ll bet there’s a Dorothy in your life.

There are many more ways than these fifty, to find people and places who will love to receive your stuff. Be creative, look around and ask around to see where you want your clutter to end up. That will make it easier and more comfortable to let go.

The important thing is, before you even start to tackle that stack of clutter, decide who will be the happy recipient of your stuff. Otherwise, you won’t be able to say good-bye to many items that you don’t need or use.

Rita Emmett is a “Recovered Pack Rat”, a Professional Speaker, and best-selling author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook; and The Clutter-Busting Handbook.
Go to for info on Stress Management, Procrastination and Clutter. You will find books, CDs, DVDs and even on-line courses. To subscribe to her free monthly “Anticrastination Tip Sheet” with quick short tips & ideas to help break the procrastination habit, go to the first page of her website Rita can be reached at 847-699-9950 or