1. Don't "put it aside for later" - do it now. If you have a button fall off your shirt, sew it on now and get it over with. Or, figure out that you are not likely, in your lifetime, to sew it back on - and throw the shirt and button away.2. Have a place for everything - and then put things away. And by this, I don't mean tossing things in a drawer or a closet, but rather, have an organized place for all the things you use in daily life. A vacuum cleaner should not be a permanent part of your furniture - always underfoot. Put it in a closet when not in use - and buy a hook to hang up the hose if you need to.3. Don't create more cubbyholes: A closet organizer, or cabinet or other storage compartment sounds like a swell idea to get rid of clutter. The problem with shelves, cabinets, and closets is that they accumulate junk to fill them up. Joe homeowner puts up shelves in his garage to "neaten it up". Before a year is out, they are sagging with old cans of dried-up paint and half-used bags of fertilizer (paid good money for that!). Better off to throw away junk than to store it.4. Don't start collections: A penny jar, a basket full of wine corks, boxes of colorful bottles, or old buttons or whatnot. People start collecting things on the premise that they are going to start a craft project or whatever. But what ends up happening is that you end up saving junk. Put your money in the bank, not a jar. Throw away old bottles and cans and corks and caps or whatever. These are not things of value.5. Don't be afraid to THROW AWAY: Trust me, the landfill can handle it. Far too often, we have regrets about throwing things away. That old shirt can be torn up and used for cleaning rags! So we tear it up, put it in a bag - and forget about it, as we use some sort of store-bought rag for cleaning anyway. Before long, we have cabinets filled with "good rags" that we might use "someday".6. STOP BUYING CRAP! The more you buy, the more you will have to store, and eventually, your house will fill up to the brim. Books are one example - you buy a book, read it, and then it sits around. Only the best get read again and again. Go to the library for most of your books. Sell others at a garage sale - or donate them to the library. Keeping them is just clutter - and no, I'm not impressed with your "wall of books". I know how to read, too. I just don't feel the need to show it off.Gift items are another problem area. Those little table-clutter items seem so cute. But you can only have so many of them, before the table can no longer be used as a table. If every horizontal surface in your house is cluttered to the point where you have to move things to set things down, well, you've got issues, my friend, and it is time to take action.7. Don't take crap! My parents found a great way to get rid of junk, and that was to pawn it off on the kids. "Gee, this broken table is still good, sort of. Let's give it to the boys!" Giving away crap is a good idea - for the giver. They get to feel they are getting "value" for the item, without merely discarding it. The receiver, on the other hand, ends up with a mound of garbage. Just say "no" to free crap from your parent's attic!8. Annual Garage Sale: Once a year, at least, have a garage sale. Put out everything you want to get rid of, sell it for a few hours and then haul the remainder to the curb (people will take it, trust me). DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, TAKE STUFF BACK INSIDE. Having a garage sale, at least once a year, is essential to culling your load of crap. But be sure to SELL things, not put obscene prices on them and then use that as an excuse to keep stuff. (UPDATE: Take a few things you might not want to sell, put a high price on them and see what happens. Sometimes you realize that you'd rather have the cash than than the things).
9. Throw away disposable stuff: I have a friend who collects cardboard coasters from bars. It is fun to see the names of different beers or different bars on them. But, they wear out rather quickly, and should be thrown away, as they were intended to be. I recently discovered, to my horror, that I had no fewer than eight (8) coasters on my desk. Arrrrrgh! I'm going hoarder!10. Throw away broken things: That old cell phone is obsolete and the battery is flat - and the charger is broken. Why are you saving it, again? If you cannot repair something - and repair it right away - putting it in a drawer won't fix it. And yet, it is human nature to try to keep broken crap on the premise that it might be fixable down the road. Fight the urge to keep broken junk. Just toss it!11. Toss away Scraps: It is tempting to keep an old piece of 2 x 4 around, as you "might need it someday". But burning it in the fireplace is a better idea. Similarly, half-empty paint cans just end up drying out. Paint something or toss them. And I never understood, for the life of me, old men who buy a bag of fertilizer, put half of it on their lawn, and then "save" half, until it turns into a solid rock and leaves a chemical stain on their garage floor. No leftovers, no scraps, no "saving"!