Most every home faces the challenge of keeping home clutter down, whether it’s the stacking up of bills, kid’s projects or even garage clutter.

Keeping your house clean and clutter-free makes life much simpler. Plus you save time, money and emotional stress by having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place. During the busy summer when it is hard to stay organised, it’s no wonder things have gotten out of hand, but fall is the perfect time to dedicate a weekend to getting your home back in shape. Gather your supplies and spend a weekend cleaning and decluttering your home.

According to Organized Home, the first step for your weekend challenge is to label four large boxes Put Away, Give Away, Store and Throw Away. As you go through each item in your home that is out of place, decide whether it needs to be put away in an accessible location, given to someone else or a charity, stored in a basement or storage closet, or thrown in the trash. Put each item in the appropriate box.

Take the four boxes to the declutter area. One at a time, pick up each piece of clutter. Ask yourself, “Do I want to put this away in another place, donate it (or sell it at a yard sale), store it or throw it away?” You may not release your grip on the item until you have made a decision.

At the end of the decluttering session, reserve 10 to 15 minutes for emptying the boxes. Put Away items are placed in more appropriate places. Give Away/Sell items should be stored outside the house, in a garage, or in the trunk of the car for drop-off at a charity donation centre. As each storage box fills, make a brief inventory of the contents and put the box into the storage area. Finally, empty the trash can quickly to prevent second thoughts!

The Four Box method will work for anyone, in any declutter mode. Use it to clear a shelf or drawer each day, or apply it as part of a whole-house weekend assault on clutter. By forcing a decision, it will serve you well as you cull clutter from the home.

Best Places for Giving Away in Bermuda

The Barn

The Barn is dedicated to providing the community with affordable resale items. Located at 53 Devon Spring Road, Devonshire, it is one of Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda’s (HAB) most profitable fundraising activities. Due to a lack of storage space, please limit donations to items suitable for the current season. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Donations are received Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The Salvation Army

Selling secondhand clothing and accessories and some small furnishings, the Salvation Army thrift store is located 44 King Street, Hamilton, Pembroke. Call 292-8107.

Hands of Love Ministry

Run by Fern Wade, Hands of Love helps feed, clothe and house individuals in the community. It assists the homeless, seniors, single parents and children by offering financial assistance, counselling and housing. Faith, support and various companies have enabled them to help individuals for over 35 years to have a positive image in Bermuda. Drop off gently used clothing and items at 10 Camp Hill, Warwick WK 02 or call 238-7368.

Bargain Box

Located 2 Midsea Lane, Pembroke, The Bargain Box is a volunteer-operated thrift shop selling mostly clothing and is a major fundraiser for The Committee of 25. Founded by Edna Watson and friends in 1952, the Committee of 25 is dedicated to helping mentally and physically handicapped children for whom no adequate provision exists. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Upstairs Closet

Each Friday and Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Bermuda Red Cross opens its doors and invites all to shop at their secondhand store, the Upstairs Closet. Upstairs Closet is located at Bermuda Red Cross, Charleswood, 9 Berry Hill Road, Paget, and is open Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Drop off hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Call 236-3836.

Second-Hand Rose

For a great selection of gently used secondhand treasures, Second-Hand Rose is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and located at The World Heritage Centre, Penno’s Wharf, St. George’s. To donate items, please contact Barbara Maguire at The St. George’s Foundation atl 297-3686 or e-mail membership@stgeorgesfoundation.org. They offer prompt, free collection of bric-a-brac, knick-knacks, household items, furniture—everything but clothing. All proceeds to The St. George’s Foundation. For more information please call 704-3353.