Cut The Clutter

A scrap of fabric to make that quilt, the squeeze toy to strengthen your grip, several curling irons, purses that you never carry, these are all avenues that folks who are clutter bond.  Clutter is the modern quicksand. Clutter can create turmoil and destroy everyone peace of mind who live with it. We think we want to clear the clutter for holidays and make a little headway but become frustrated because it takes too much time, or your space is limited.  We say to ourselves if we could get to the bottom of the pile you would never allow the clutter to develop again. But, we never get to the bottom of the pile.  We have said to ourselves more than 20 times you might need it so keep it “just in case”. We are drowning in paper and stuff. Things we bought, things that came to us, and things we inherited. What can we do?

Here are a few practical tips with a little emotional support.

  • Never de-clutter all at one time. Schedule de-clutter time in 2-hour increments. The experience can be emotionally exhausting.
  • Focus on one area.
  • It may be easier to have a friend, relative or better, a Professional Organizer.
  • Continue to schedule declutter time frames, even if it takes months.
  • The goal is to create a home organization system that you can learn to use and maintain.
  • Ask yourself where to find a home for what you keep. Usually close to where you use the information or item.
  • Don’t make piles, instead stand papers upright or hanging files.
  • If you want to keep an article to read, file it in a file called “to read”.
  • Decide to keep, donate or toss right away. Don’t delay. A good rule is to never touch something more than 3 times.
  • When decluttering a closet or drawer, take everything out so you can see it and decide to keep, donate or toss.
  • Fix items that need fixed of get rid of it.
  • Deal with mail and papers when they arrive.
  • Consider keeping a file case with a handle to take with you on jobs or to work.
  • Keep a hard copy or on-line calendar and schedule everything. Cleaning, trips, work, schedule everything if possible.  If it is not a priority and you run out of time.  Schedule it in an open time the next day.

From Clutter Cutters, Houston Chronicle, Sunday, December 10, 2000