I have lots of projects that are way more interesting than these little projects to declutter my house. Unfortunately they’re all half done, and are not in a good place for a show and tell right now. So here’s how I cleaned up my house a little bit by taming my coupon piles and my torn out magazine pages.
This was something big for me . I love to throw things away because I hate clutter. A LOT. The problem is I then go looking for something I threw away, and I’m disappointed that I no longer have it. This is especially true of magazine articles. I’ll remember that I tore out some gardening idea or a recipe or a paint color I loved, but I won’t remember the details of it any more of that. I’ll know I tore that page out of the magazine months ago, but because I didn’t have anywhere to store it, I will have gotten tired of looking at it lying around and have tossed it a month ago. So I was getting quite a stack of pages again and decided it was time to not just toss them but find a good way to store them. Of course my first course of action was to look on Pinterest. I found this and surprisingly that was the only idea I found there. Luckily, I thought it was a good idea though. I decided to do a little twist on it since I didn’t think I’d have that many articles (I only read one magazine, Better Homes and Gardens), and I went with an expandable file folder. I found a cute one at Target.
It only has 5 pockets, but I really liked it. Plus I don’t think I tear out that many articles of different types. My categories are “Desserts”, “Meals”, “Gardening”, “Home” and “Me Time”. I think I could have used a “Kids”, but I hadn’t torn out any of those articles yet, so it got pushed back for “Me Time”. Plus if I find I’m tearing out a lot in a category I don’t have I can always switch them. So far I only have a few articles in each category, but I have only been doing this for a couple months. It gets the torn pages off my kitchen table or end table or wherever else they end up. Plus I like that the file folder is easy to store anywhere around the house and portable to wherever I’m reading my magazine.
The other clutter that drives me absolutely bonkers is my coupons. Before I decided I needed some organization, I was cutting them out and having great plans to use them. Unfortunately, I’d forget and then not save the money (even if it was only $0.25), and beyond that was wasting my time cutting them out. My old storage plan was just having a big stack of all my coupons in no particular order whatsoever, just how they ended up. Now I know there are the extreme couponers who have binders that are seriously organized, and they take those to the store, and they save a ton of money. That’s not me. I don’t buy multiple Sunday newspapers. I just cut out the coupons of products we use or might possibly use to save myself maybe $3 a grocery trip. It doesn’t really add up too much, but at least I feel like I’m doing something. I didn’t need some big really well organized system that would take me hours on end because honestly I wouldn’t keep it up.
I just got this very small, very portable coupon organizer at Wal-Mart. I don’t have a great system, and they aren’t labelled currently. I just put things that expire within the same week in the same division and then I go through my coupons each week. I wasn’t even doing this going through my coupons regularly before, so I’d have coupons that were over a month old. This is much easier because I just have to throw out one group of coupons (no sorting) a week. It’s must easier to sort them when I’m only putting the ones away that I’ve cut out each week! I think I have been using my coupons more regularly since I started this. I really like that I don’t have coupons blowing off my book shelf every time I walk by too.
While these aren’t big changes, they certainly help me feel like my life is a little more manageable, and that my house is a little bit cleaner. I think it also saves me time in the long run even if I’m devoting a little bit more time to it once a week or once a month. Plus I know that Tyler won’t easily be able to get his hands on these pieces of paper and destroy them. Next up in my goal for a decluttered house is organizing the toys in the play room, and making our feet a little safer from toys!