The ocean is both powerful and hypnotic. When we visited Maine we watched as the beautiful white waves come crashing onto the rocks. In Delaware we watched as the waves come rushing onto the sandy beach where they calmly flattened out and slunk back out to gather speed again.

On one particular beach there was a sign saying “Stay Out—Strong Undertow”. A friend told me that a few weeks before our visit someone had been sucked under the water because of the pull of the undertow. The person first tested the water by sticking his toes in the water as it was lazily receding from the sand. Then he walked out a little bit until the water covered his ankles. Perhaps he forgot about the warning as he went out further into the ocean until it was up to his knees. At that point he was hit hard by a wave and caught off balance. The next wave hit him higher and he fell onto the sand and was pulled out to sea. By this time he was under the power of the undertow and was tossing about in the water until he went under and was never seen again until it was too late to save his life.

This man unfortunately tested the limits of the ocean by seeing how far he could go into the water without obeying the sign. The same thing can happen to us in our homes when getting rid of clutter.

At the beach there was a warning sign. We could put up a warning sign in our homes to say: “Getting Rid of Clutter in Progress”. But do we then test the limits by not putting things away after using them saying “Oh it won’t hurt if I just put this one thing here for now, I will take care of it later”. One little thing won’t hurt this time; it is the several times that things are left out rather than put away that creates clutter.

Getting rid of clutter means having a designated place for everything and then after using it putting it away. This sounds like a simple thing to do but we all get in a hurry and leave things out sometimes. If we can get in this habit we might as well get in the habit of putting things away where they belong every time without fail.

It will save us time and it will eliminate the frustration of losing things because they become misplaced. The next time you are tempted to just set something down and saying you’ll put it away later think how lovely it will be that you aren’t starting a pile of clutter. The few seconds it took to put it away while it was in your hand will save minutes later and the bonus is you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Getting rid of clutter is easy by revisiting places that are organized such as cupboards, closets or drawers. Every few months take a couple of minutes to look at the things you have and assess if they are in the most convenient places and if you still want to keep them. It is surprising how things just get undone even though they have been organized.

A friend and I were chatting and she was so excited because her children had gone camping with their grandpa so she had the house all to herself during the day. She took the opportunity to go through their toys while they were out of the house. She said it was much easier to do this when they were gone. She got rid of toys they never play with anymore and the things she donated they would not miss. What a smart way to get rid of clutter.

Even though we can’t see the undertow of the ocean it is very powerful and can be deadly. Getting rid of clutter can also be powerful as we do it a little at a time and don’t get into sloppy habits.

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