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Reduce Clutter! Feel Better!

Getting rid of clutter can be challenging! However, by reducing general clutter, you can feel more in control!

Nashville, Ark. – Does your home invite others in, or do you avoid having people over because of the clutter? With our busy schedules, work, football games, and school activities, your home may not be presenting the image you want. According to the American Cleaning Institute, having a cluttered living space can affect your peace of mind. Think about this, the longer you go without cleaning your home, the more daunting the task can be. Getting rid of clutter can be challenging!

However, by reducing general clutter, you can feel more in control!

            It all starts with the three R’s. Reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Reduce

  • Ask yourself if you really need multiple versions of the same item. How many vases do you really need? Do I really need three pairs of rain boots? Can you survive with just one or two of the same items you love and donate, sell, or give the rest to someone in need?
  • Get your family on board. Enlist their help in purging items they have outgrown or no longer need. It provides a great teachable moment by helping kids visualize those toys they played with at one time being played with by someone else. It may be a good time to watch the movie, Toy Story 3.
  • Don’t buy new containers or storage bins until you’ve measured the space they’ll occupy and the contents to go within them. Once you have the right measurements, take them with you as you shop for storage containers.
  • Set realistic goals. Trying to clean out the whole house on a Saturday morning may not be possible. However, picking one room at a time may be more achievable. Tackle each room with a plan in mind. Have three piles: “relocate”, “donate”, and “trash”. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can go through a room if you do it in short, focused spurts.

Reuse

  • Give a new purpose to an old item. Do you have a pantry full of jars, but no longer use them because you no longer preserve homegrown foods? If so, consider using them for other purposes such as storing desktop office supplies, spare buttons, or numerous other items.
  • Baskets that were once used to hold magazines can be used as part of storage solution in a closet.
  • Challenge your kids to invent new purposes for old “stuff”. There are lots of ideas for repurposing online and many items can become new craft projects.

Recycle

  • Instead of holding on to all those empty peanut butter jars, recycle them. Keep a bin where you can collect recyclables. Once full, take the bin to the recycling center.
  • Donate old books, magazines, etc. to someone who would appreciate them. Hospitals, senior adults, or schools might enjoy them. If not, take them to the recycling center.
  • If having a garage sale is too much hassle, keep a box in a central place for items no longer needed and donate to charitable organizations once the box is full.
  • Go through your mail every day and throw away junk mail! It is amazing how fast it piles up.

            Now is the time to de-clutter especially if you will be having family and friends gather for the holidays. Not only will you have a clean house when they get there, but you will feel better too!

            For information regarding financial issues, family relations, nutrition and health, contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Recipe of the Week

            This recipe will be featured at an Extension Homemaker Leader Training session scheduled for Thursday, September 24 at 10:00 a.m. at the EH Educational Center in Nashville. The training will focus on “Easy to Prepare Party Appetizers”.  The meeting is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

8 oz. cream cheese                                                     

Caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought               

Toffee bits      

Sliced apples, pears, pretzels for serving

            Place cream cheese on a serving dish. Pour as much caramel sauce as you want evenly over cream cheese. Sprinkle with a generous helping of toffee bits. Serve with sliced apples, pears, or pretzels.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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