Awhile ago I saw a sign with these words: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. Someone had crossed off the first two words. I had to chuckle. Just simplify.

In my role as a professional organizer I have been working with a woman who has had no less than 6 deaths of close family members (including a young daughter and her parents all within 18 months). She received a great out pouring of love and things from her friends which actually created a burden for her.

She received silk flowers, figurines, books and trinkets. It became overwhelming for her. She not only has all this “stuff” to find room for but she also has the burden of thanking each and every one of them. She is very loving and appreciative of their concern but it has created problems for her as she wasn’t able to get over one death and all the gifts before she was faced with another death and more gifts. It has made her look at what she gives to people differently when she expresses love and concern.

In my neighborhood we had two funerals on the same day for a neighbor’s mother and for another one’s brother. A sympathy card and some bread is what I chose to give as it was simple, something they could use now or freeze for later and it didn’t create clutter for them to deal with.

Clearing the clutter in our lives and in our homes can become easier by simplifying our lives.

1. Learn to say no. I asked a friend if we could use her back yard for a wedding party and she said no in such a way that when I hung up the phone I wanted to know how to be as gracious as she was in telling me no. When we have too much on our plate and too many commitments we aren’t able to do everything we want to do in the way we want to do them. I have a friend who says yes to everything because she doesn’t want to let anyone down but because she does this she has earned the reputation for being a flake as she can’t do all she commits to do.

2. Clearing clutter can be fun by combining something you like to do with something that you don’t enjoy doing. For instance when folding clothes put on some music, watch a favorite T.V. program, or listen to a book on tape. Enlist someone else to help with the chores. You don’t have to do everything alone. When others are responsible they create less clutter.

3. My daughter recently moved to a beautiful new apartment. She called me to ask about using risers to raise her bed higher so she could store things under the bed. I asked her what she wanted to store and she said books. As we continued to talk she said they were school books. I asked her some questions about them as she had graduated and she decided she didn’t need them anymore and rather than storing them for no reason she donated the books to the library as this would help her organize clutter and would be beneficial to others. Instead of buying risers for her bed she bought a bookcase and put the books on the shelves she will read again and donated the rest. What a good way to clear clutter!

4. After speaking to a woman’s group a woman came up who had problems with paper in her home but said she was great at getting rid of clothes. She said she has a small closet and can wear everything she keeps. Do you hold on to clothes you can’t wear, or don’t like? Simplify your life by donating them, selling them or giving them to a friend who could use them.

Clearing clutter can become easy when we set a goal to simplify our lives by looking around in each room in our homes to determine how we can clear the clutter we have let come to live with us.

Marilyn invites you to visit her website for more organizing ideas for your home and life.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Bohn is the owner of Get it Together Organizing, a business dedicated to developing practical organizing solutions that help individuals and business professionals live clutter-free and productive lives. She is the author of “Go Organize! Conquer Clutter in Three Simple Steps” and is an experienced, enthusiastic public speaker, a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and the author of hundreds of articles covering various organizing topics.

Marilyn takes the often stressful subject of organizing and breaks it down into a simple, easy to understand system. Her methods are both eye-opening and encouraging! She has a passion for helping others reach their personal goals and living a better, clutter-free life!

Marilyn invites you to discover her one-of-a-kind video workshops and organizing ideas at