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My Favorite Things

My Organized Things – With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

Alphabetized spices and also the soup cans
Matching lids for each sauce and fry pan
Recycled newspapers all tied up with strings
These are a few of my organized things.

Teach Your Children Well - toys and stuff

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

At last, the holiday hoopla is over. Decorations are down and stored; furniture back to normal. But now, I am overwhelmed by the “gift detritus.” Every room in the house is overflowing with kid related stuff – old stuff, new stuff, packaging. There just doesn’t seem to be enough space for everything. Can you help us manage this chaos?


Toys Are Us

Teach Your Children Well - Clothes

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

Thanks to you, the toy story in our house has had a happy ending. We have established on-going Giving Times and an end-of-day pick up. However, now the clothing clutter is more apparent. Clothing litters every chair, couch, bed, and floor. Clean and dirty items co-mingle.

How can I save the environment of our home ?


Green with Angst

Managing Memorabilia

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

The holiday season has finally passed but Valentine’s Day looms on the horizon as does St Paddy’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days…on and on. I’m stymied by what mementos to retain and which to pitch.

How can I determine what is a true “keepsake?”


Hall Marked

Medicine Cabinet Clutter - Part 1

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

The change in the season is always accompanied by colds and the flu. I’d like to minimize my midnight treks to the all night drug store when I can’t find what I need in my medicine cabinet, the linen closet, the kitchen cupboard or my purse.

Can you help prevent malpractice in my home?


House Doctor

Medicine Cabinet Clutter - Part 2

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

The prescription and non-prescription meds are now up to date. I watch enough medical programs to know that an emergency can happen when you are least prepared for it. (Guess that might be a definition of emergency, huh?)

It’s been a long time since my Red Cross first aid class. What should I do to be better prepared?


Out of Practice

PS. There is STILL a mountain of make up and non-medicine related items littering my counters, cupboards, and drawers. Where is that stuff going to live?

What the IRS Wants You to Keep (No Joke)

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

I know …I know… Last year, you told me to discard my “paperbag filing” system. I did not follow your suggestion. Now, it is tax time again. I still can’t decide which pieces of paper are important, which can be discarded, and which ones I need to retain.

I’m afraid I will be audited, won’t have the correct paper back up and then I will be sent to jail .

What exactly does the IRS want me to keep?


Terrified by Taxes

Maybe Mother Is Still Right

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

Sometimes I feel like my life consists of picking up, cleaning up and following up after everyone in my family. I remember that the house in which I grew up was always neat and tidy. How did my Mom do it?

Other than hiring a maid, what can I do to get others to help tame the clutter chaos?


Fed up

So My Children Will Not Have To...

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

I just finished helping my parent’s downsize and move to assisted living. It was a horrendous experience and I am still dealing with the fallout – lost items, missing photos, and very confused parents.

While sorting through a box of papers, I found your card. (I wish I had found it sooner.) I don’t want MY children to be faced with sorting, distributing and discarding my lifetime accumulations. Please help me help them.


Done In


Dear Jo the Clutterbuster Readers:

Like the NPR Car Talk Puzzler, I will be on vacation until the end of July. If you are worried about “clutter regression,” go to: www.jotheclutterbuster and click on the ‘Insights ‘tab. Read the articles you may have missed .

Look for the “De-cluttering Demons” who arrive in August.


Jo the Clutter Buster