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By June 21, 2016 4 Comments

Every home is an assortment of items—some useful and some useless; some expensive and some inexpensive; some treasures and some junk! The trouble starts when we treat everything as if it had the same value. A pile of coupon flyers is not as important as a pile of bills to be paid. Old magazines are not as valuable as your child’s artwork. Dusty souvenirs aren’t as meaningful as the pottery you just created.

You hereby have permission to keep only the best! You will be amazed at the progress you can make in your own home when you concentrate on looking for the treasures. Judith Kolberg shares this helpful insight in her classic book Conquering Chronic Disorganization (www.squallpress.net),

“The positive act of searching for treasures is a more effective organizing method than the negative act of throwing junk away.”

Use your energy first to determine what is most meaningful to you. Find the items that truly delight your heart. Select items of beauty. Choose the ones that make you smile. Set them aside in a special area; these are the keepers! Take time to savor the memories attached to these items.

Now look at what is left. Make two decisions—donate or toss. Set a timer and get busy! Quickly put these items into labeled bags. Accept the fact that you simply do not need these items anymore. Allow someone else the opportunity to use them. Close the bags and deliver to your selected donation site or put with your trash.

So many clients have told me that they felt like a weight had been lifted from their shoulders when they were willing to reduce the quantity of stuff in their homes. They were amazed at the change when the visual clutter and chaos was gone!

At a recent meeting of the Organized by Olive Book Club, we discussed similar ideas from the book, Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels. Her book is full of simple ways to create order, embrace your style, and cultivate contentment in imperfect homes. Her message is clear: use what you find, use what you love, and love what you use. Make your home a refreshing refuge, not an overflowing warehouse.

Consider these three thoughts:


The very best treasures are special memories in your heart. I treasure the times I made cookies with my mother and my daughters. It makes me smile to think of those times. Obviously I don’t still have those actual cookies, but I have the memories forever.



Many people have special collections that reflect a meaningful part of their lives. They truly enjoy seeking for each item and maintaining the collection. They display the collection with pride. One way to honor the memory of a loved one who has had such a special collection is to share it with others. My aunt recently graciously donated her late husband’s collection of musical instruments and records to the music department of a local school. They will honor his memory with a special plaque.



Find a way to use those treasures every day! Do not keep them hidden in a box in the attic or garage. I moved my glass serving dishes from my garage to my kitchen for that very reason. It gives me pleasure to use them every day, not just on holidays. I recently found this precious chalk drawing entitled “Grandma & Grandpa by Bethany” tucked away in a box of my mother’s papers.


It brought tears to my eyes because I had not seen it before. I plan to hang it in my hallway so I can enjoy it every day!


What treasures are waiting to be discovered in your home? Have fun going on a treasure hunt!

Please share what you find in the comments below.

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

More posts by Olive Wagar

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Nancy Collins says:

    This blog post really makes me think! It’s my favorite!

  • Miriam says:

    I love these suggestions. I enjoyed meeting you several Christmases ago in Bellefontaine. Hope you come this way again.

    • Olive Wagar says:

      Miriam, I remember that lovely evening at the library in Bellefontaine and would enjoy coming your way again soon! I’m glad these tips touched your heart. It always brings a smile to my heart to walk past my special treasures every day, rather than having them hidden in the garage.

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