Sep 10, 2015

As summer fades away to fall, the change of seasons bring a fresh opportunity to turn over a new leaf and declutter your space before the hectic holidays hit. One of the nation's experts on clearing clutter will be at the Raleigh Home Show, sharing her top tips for getting organized.

Author and organizer, Barbara Hemphill, presents "Less Clutter More Life: Strategies & Tools for Increasing Productivity and Peace of Mind" on the Fresh Ideas Home Stage daily during the show. Here are her top ten tips to tame clutter:

1. Today's mail is tomorrow's pile. Ignore the mistakes of the past and set up a system that will accommodate every new piece of paper.

2. Are you overwhelmed with too much stuff in your life? Clutter is postponed decisions. To eliminate the clutter on your desk and in your life, think the FAT System™: File, Act, Toss.

3. Less is more! Have nothing which you do not know to be useful, think to be beautiful - or love. Hemphill's principle: If you don't have it, or you can't find it, it is of no value.

4. Put like items together (eg. office supplies, travel items, seasonal decorations, memorabilia). Find a space or container large enough to hold the largest amount you want to keep. When it is full, toss or give away.

5. Make appointments with yourself - whether it is to clean off your desk, spend more time with your family, or write a book. (Write a page a day and at the end of the year, you will have a 365 page book!)

6. Store items according to where and how often you use them - and label them clearly so others can understand the system you are using. To avoid accumulating clutter, eliminate any container which does not have a specific purpose.

7. In every organizing process, things will feel worse before they get better. This is normal, and not the best time to stop for a cup of coffee.

8. Do you have difficulty letting go of things - even if you don't use them? Finding someone else who needs them more than you do will make it easier. Deductible software will help you track donations and maximize the deduction you can legally take.

9. The purpose of a filing system is not to put papers away - it is to be able to find them again! Think "finding system" and ask yourself, "How can I find this again?" Hemphill's principle: If you don't know you have it, or can't find it, it's of no value to you.

10. Bulletin boards can be great organizing tools. Separate information into two categories: information or inspirational. Mixing the two purposes on one board gives a cluttered appearance, which detracts from the function and the aesthetics.

Get more great decluttering and organizing advice and ideas when you see Barbara at the Raleigh Home Show. The home and garden event of the season takes over the Raleigh Convention Center September 11-13, 2015.

Don't have tickets yet? Buy before the show starts to save big and avoid box office lines! Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets on Facebook. Click here to buy yours today!

SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2015.