May 27, 2009

High Calorie Clutter

We always stress to people that getting organized is a process that includes Prevention, Reduction, and Maintenance. In thinking about Prevention, did you ever realize there is such a thing as "junk food" for your house?

I call it "High Calorie Clutter." These are the items that tend to accumulate and seem to multiply, and they take up a lot of space, yet they are items that are not necessarily needed or missed. They are things we tend to collect and keep wanting more of despite the fact that we have plenty. Here are five of the top ten High Calorie Clutter items that I outlined in my new book:

  1. Craft Supplies: Give yourself a limit of the number of active projects you have going at any given time, and organize your craft supplies so you know what you have before you go shopping.

  2. Collectibles: Do you collect plates, figurines, or other things that you think are cute? If so, are you really displaying them, caring for them, and enjoying them?

  3. Excess Shoes & Clothing: Are you up for the "Imelda Marcos Award?" Use the "One In, One Out" rule to keep your collection under control.

  4. Media- CDs & DVDs: Storing discs in CD wallets takes up just inches of space on a shelf vs. the original cases, which take several linear feet. Keep them contained this way and just pull the liner notes out and put them with the disc in the sleeve.

  5. Magazines & Newspapers: Use a centralized reading basket as a "limiting container." When it's full, that's your cue to review these items and get realistic about what you have time to read.

What steps can you take right now to reduce your High Calorie Clutter items and prevent more of them from coming in the door? Share your "junk food issues" in the comments!

Lorie Marrero Certified Professional Organizer Lorie Marrero is the creator of, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. She is also the author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life. Her organizing books and products are sold online and in stores nationwide. Lorie has been a spokesperson for Brother label makers and FedEx Office, and she is a sought-after expert for national media such as CNBC, Good Housekeeping, WGN News and Woman's Day.


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