Home Experts Teach About Obtaining a ‘Vacation House Feeling’ Every Day



    In a home free of clutter, a “vacation house feeling” will prevail. There will be less tension, you will be treated better by guests, and you will be able to find things more easily, said Don Aslett and Sandra S. Phillips in their presentation “Home Success with Less Distress: Declutter Your Surroundings the Simple Way” on Monday during Education Week.

    “Why do we go on vacation? It’s to get away from our stuff,” Aslett said. “We leave our television and everything we could ever want to go to those nice clean hotels without any clutter.”

    Aslett is a radio and TV personality and the chairman of Varsity Contractors. Sandra S. Phillips is a home specialist on home and garden channel and the owner of Live Right.

    According to their Web site, www.live-right.com, Aslett designed and built an award winning home in Hawaii, which has been featured on the Discovery Channel, and Phillips designed a 5,000 square-foot, “maintenance-free” home in which her family lived for many years.

    Clutter is one of the biggest problems in families besides finances because it insulates them from the love that they want to feel, Aslett said. He urged the audience to throw out the stuff that they don’t need.

    “We collect clutter because we can,” Phillips said. “The media tells us that we need more.”

    Phillips held up a display of more than 10 different types of toothpaste from only one brand that were bought at a small pharmacy. This display showed how easy it is to collect junk because there is so much available. The USA has 5 percent of the world’s population but consumes 40 percent of its resources, according to the class.

    Clutter is bad because it takes up space, makes people lose items and perpetuates more disorder. According to a study by Home and Family Television, it is one of the chief causes of family fights. Visual disorder also contributes to depression, Phillips said.

    “I promise you,” Aslett said, “that as you throw out the intangible stuff, a quiet spirit will testify to you that you don’t need stuff to be happy.”

    Only keep things that are active in your life and get rid of the passive things, Aslett said. Throw out out-dated computer books and anything that is not serving a purpose in your life right now. Phillips and Aslett held up examples of common junk items found in people’s homes: watches that do not work, locked padlocks with no combinations, old trophies.

    Throw out clothes that are too stretched, faded, do not fit you right now or are too worn. Phillips related her experiences of de-junking people’s homes and finding two drawers full of 146 pairs of stockings with runs in them and a woman who had 94 shirts of the same pattern.

    Because there are more than 5,200 different public magazines today and 70 percent of each issue is devoted to advertisements, the speakers advised the audience to tear out the articles that are meaningful to them and get rid of the rest.

    Phillips held up an egg cooker from the Home Shopping Network. It took about 21 different parts put together to cook four eggs. According to Phillips, this egg cooker is clutter because it takes too much work to achieve a product that can be done without it.

    “Keep only things that you use often in your active space in the kitchen,” Phillips said. “Seasonal and appliances that you don’t use every day should be kept out of the way, so your kitchen will look clean and uncluttered.”

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