You Can Conquer Clutter!
Getting rid of clutter is a challenge make no mistake. It comes in but never seems to stop. Soon you find yourself in a sea of it literally drowning. Never fear, there is hope! Getting organized means changing long-held habits and below are some tips to help you rediscover your rooms, find storage space, make all those piles disappear, and bring calm into your home, office and personal life. The goal is to make your life easier, more organized and beautiful!
What's Your Clutter Style?
It's important to identify your clutter type before dealing with it. There are four main types of clutterers:
Obviously collectors collect things, but their collections are never complete. On the journey to complete them, they find more things to collect along the way, never ridding of anything, just adding to the clutter.
This type of clutterer keeps their stuff packed away and hidden so an outsider won't see it. Concealers love storage containers of all kinds, often stacked neatly and sometimes even labeled. This doesn't reduce the clutter but merely rearranges it. In turn, it keeps accumulating.
A person who keeps everything, basically a pack-rat. Stuff comes in and never goes out. A sense of stability and security come along with an accumulator. Most don't see the clutter as a problem. Even when there is no more space for it.
With this type, nothing stays around long. Once a newspaper is read (ie: yesterday's paper), it's outa there. They make every attempt to control their space or reclaim something lost in their youth. If the clutter is not by their own doing, it throws the tosser off their sense of order and neatness.
So How Do You Tackle Clutter?
De-cluttering can be very draining in every form, not to mention most clutterers are extremely attached to their things. As they say, every journey begins with a single step. So why not start at the beginning and removing stuff gradually is the key and a great place to start. Even the most emotionally attached clutterer can let go and when he gives the sign he's ready to de-clutter, a coach or professional organizer may be necessary.
There are dozens of ways to get motivated and not all will work for everyone. Here are five options to consider:
1. Think ahead. The long term benefits of having less clutter in your life speaks for itself if you break it down. What would it feel like to be able to have friends/family visit? What if you could find paperwork easily and actually pay that bill on time? Would you like to see those stairs again?
2. Benefits along the way. You will really reap the benefits just from quantifying your clutter. You'll get excercise as you walk those boxes and bags up and down the stairs (the ones you can see now!). Maybe even get to know that nice lady or man at the thrift store.
3. Timing is everything. Find out for example when a good time to drop off any charity items or donations is. For larger jobs, perhaps a friend with a truck can help during a visit (to your new clutter free space of course!). Don't wait for a rainy day. It's difficult to move or transport stuff.
4. Lock yourself in. Consider arranging ahead of time for good will to pick up any large items, especially if you're a procrastinator. Put an ad for a garage sale in the local paper for a specified date. A date you would like to reach a clutter goal. If you miss the date or aren't ready, you have wasted money on the ad.
5. Beware of backfires. Do not reward yourself with buying more stuff once you have reached your de-cluttering goal. Instead, why not reward yourself by making something for someone else? Tossers don't have to motivate themselves to get started. Their challenge is to find ways to slow down and take stock thoughtfully instead of tossing items so quickly.
I have made it a rule in my housekeeping arrangements to have a set place-nail, box, bag, nook, or closet-for everything from a clothes-pole to a darning-needle. I have made it a set rule, never to be departed from, always to put a thing away in its exact place as soon as I have used it.
-The Old Farmer's Almanac, 1883
(Source-Cut The Clutter and Stow The Stuff, Lori Baird)