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Fall Housework Hints: How to Clear Clutter

The kids are back in school. The weather is cooling down. The house is a wreck. What to do? Here are a few household hints from the housecleaning professionals at My Cleaning Lady. Before you do a deep clean, all hands on deck to clear the clutter. Start here:


Where do they all come from? No one knows for sure. But some suspect it is a paper conspiracy…designed to bury you and your entire home under a hillside of clutter. Do you tend to hoard old paper? To clear the paper clutter in your home, start by asking yourself a few questions about each piece:

  1. Do you need this piece of paper, used envelope or receipt?
  2. Are you ever going to look at it again? One clue to this is whether you have looked at it since tossing it into the bottomless paper pit.
  3. What specific purpose does it serve?
  4. How easy would it be to replace it if you needed it?

For example, birth certificates shouldn’t be tossed into the trash. Old disposable napkins should be.

  1. Is it something that will quickly become outdated?
  2. Was it once necessary but now related to your past?

For example, you probably don’t have to save movie ticket stubs from 1978 unless you plan to create a decorative collage.

  1. For any papers that make the cut, develop a system for saving them in an orderly fashion:
    • If you save receipts for taxes, create a tax folder or box for important documents.
    • If you save store receipts for potential returns, make a file folder and toss old receipts as you add new ones.


If there is anything in your closet that doesn’t fit, you likely have clothing clutter. Here is how to tackle it. Start by asking yourself:

  1. Does it fit? Don’t store clothing that’s too big or too small. Cleaning out your closet will give you an excuse to go shopping.
  2. Do you wear it? If you haven’t worn it in the past 12 months, chances are you never will.
  3. Do your kids make fun of you when you put it on?
  4. Do you love it? Life is too short to wear crummy clothes.
  5. Is it in good shape or does it belongs in the garbage? Try to be brutally honest.
  6. Is it a duplicate item? After all, how many pairs of black pants can you wear? Save your favorite pair and give the rest to charity. Someone else could be using the item that is sitting untouched in your closet.
  7. Do you worry that it’s out of date? If so, don’t hang onto it in hopes the style will return.
  8. Does it fill a need that no longer exists? For example, did you used to work in an office but now stay at home? You probably don’t need 15 pairs of slacks if you work from home.
  9. Are you saving the item for sentimental reasons? Take a snapshot and donate the item. Photos take up a lot less room than clothes. So don’t tie up apparel that someone else could use.


In most American homes, things often end up out of place. So, enlist the troops to help you clear clutter from your entire house.

Make a pile for each room.

  • If your kids are young, turn cleaning into a fun game. Challenge them to place items in the right pile. Teenagers probably won’t go for it. But it’s worth a shot.
  • Once the piles are full, assign everyone their own and make sure the pile doesn’t end up in another pile once it has reached its destination.

If you prefer, you can enlist professional help to clear clutter by calling My Cleaning Lady, a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.