Give an Experience Instead of More Stuff

Instead of giving Mom a bread maker, Keurig coffee machine or yet another gadget that clutters up the countertops, says The Fun Sized Life, buy her a lesson instead. Perhaps she’d like to try out a yoga session, go to a wine tasting or take a pasta-making class. To give the gift of relaxation, get her a day of pampering that includes a massage and a mani/pedi or facial. On a budget? Make her a card or a photo album and spend some quality time with her. Unless she asks for something specific, you can keep your mother’s #clutter to a minimum and still show you care.

Give Mom Gifts That Don’t Create Clutter

Mother’s Day gifts don’t need to take up a lot of space to be appreciated. Try giving a basket full of her favorite gourmet foodstuffs, a box of fresh fruit or a case of wine, says Abundant Life With Less; such gifts will remind her that you care again and again as they disappear. Another idea? Give a digital course or subscription — it will take no space at all and perhaps expand Mom’s mind. You can also give a gift card toward a stay at an AirBnb or a photo-filing service such as Dropbox, the blog says; either will enrich her life without adding to the clutter.

Is Self Storage the Right Answer for You?

Did you inherit a bunch of furniture and memorabilia as part of a relative’s estate and need a place to store it safely? Maybe you recently downsized and need to “shelve” that overflow stuff until you can find a place for it or sell it. Or perhaps you are moving, renovating or divorcing and need a place to put everything until the dust settles.

There are all kinds of reasons people turn to self storage, and more Americans are doing just that every year. The self-storage industry has been growing an average of 3.8 percent annually since 2013, according to a report from IbisWorld, and is now worth more than $37 billion per year.

If you’re considering becoming the one in 11 people nationwide who pay for self-storage, however, you should first think about why you need the extra space and how long you expect to need it. Once all of that extra stuff is out of sight, it’s easy to ignore — even though warehousing it costs a premium every month.

There are good reasons to invest in a self-storage unit, says DoughRoller. When you’re buying, selling or renovating your home, you can keep your extra stuff safe in storage until it has a new home. If you have an end date in mind, you won’t pay the rental fee month after month just to keep your stuff hidden.

Another good reason to invest in a self-storage space is to protect an investment. If you have an antique car that you only drive in the summertime and no extra garage spots, it’s a good idea to store it in the winter. Another good use of self storage is to warehouse goods you sell or business documents you don’t need on a daily basis.

Too often, however, self storage is the final resting place for the things that people never really needed, but couldn’t bear to part with. If you rent a unit only in an attempt to get the #clutter out of your home, you’ll be wasting good money — $91 per month, on average — to keep that extra stuff out of sight and out of mind.

Like a gym membership, self storage can quickly turn into something you pay for without thinking or taking advantage of its full value. And remember: If you happen to miss a few payments without rehousing your stuff, the storage provider will solve your clutter problem on its own by seizing that stuff and auctioning it off.

Instead of turning to self storage to house your junk, get rid of it. Box up that old bread maker, kick that extra couch to the curb and contact for a pickup. Your donation will not only help the nation’s veterans, but also save you the hassle of moving that stuff to another location and the cost involved with housing it. You’ll be better off without it.

Resolve to Cut the Clutter in 2019

Now that the busy holiday season is over, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your home and all of the worldly possessions that continue to spill out of your closets and cupboards. Resolve to cut the clutter this year! Go through your closets and chests of drawers  — is there anything there that you didn’t use at all in 2018? Get rid of it. Likewise with those crafty little projects that never got started: “Perhaps you have a chair you wanted to paint, or a picture frame you wanted to repurpose,” A Few Shortcuts says. “If you have been holding onto these objects for a year, it is time to let them go. Let go of old and undone projects so you can make way for fresh opportunities in the new year.”

Happy New Year from!

Keep Your Car Clean the Lazy Way

If you’re too lazy to clean your car on a regular basis but still hate the mess, Jalopnik says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. First, don’t eat in your car so that trash and stains never get the chance to build up inside. Don’t let kids inside your car, and if you must, be vigilant against the spills and trash they can bring. Waxing and garaging a vehicle reduces the need for exterior washes, and having a trash bag handy inside can keep detritus to a minimum. Finally, each time you exit the car, take something with you; whether it’s a piece of trash or something useful that shouldn’t be in the car anyway, it will help keep the car’s interior clean and clutter-free.