Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clutter Awareness Week

The third week in March is "Clutter Awareness Week."

I recently have been learning a lot about clutter and am fascinated by how inanimate objects can almost take on human-like characteristics and have such an affect on our daily lives without us even knowing it. Our belongings that surround us and how they occupy our space may reflect things about us that we either like or dislike. But by taking a step back and really looking at what surrounds us we can reclaim our spaces. So, what really is clutter?

Clutter is anything that you don't either use or love.

The act of de-cluttering is the first step to becoming more organized.
Once you have de-cluttered you can see what is left to organize.

I'd love to share these tips from a wonderful book I'd recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about clutter and how to deal with it. These top 10 clutter traps are from: "Kick the Clutter: Clear Out Excess Stuff Without Losing What You Love" by Ellen Phillips.

The Top 10 Clutter Traps:
1. Buying in bulk
2. Getting free stuff
3. Keeping unwanted gifts
4. Keeping stuff you don’t like because you paid for it
5. Keeping stuff too long (warn out or outdated clothing)
6. Letting paper pile up (constant maintenance)
7. Keeping your kid’s stuff (they’ve moved out, etc.)
8. Getting the whole set (collections, china, etc.)
9. Keeping “extras”
(Don’t keep broken appliances “just in case” after replacement)
10. Keeping stuff for someday

Benefits from de-cluttering are:
*A feeling of self satisfaction knowing that everything you own is either something you use or love.

*You can feel good about donating an unwanted item to someone who may need or want what you don't.

*By de-cluttering you are most likely going to create more space in your environment where ever it is.

*You may save money when you realize you can do with less.

*The act of de-cluttering can make you have a stronger focus on what you really want to do or accomplish in your life. This can range from very complex goals to smaller goals. When you have more space and less stuff it is easier to not be distracted by things that just don't serve you.

So, if you want to get started de-cluttering yourself...

Start small. Pick a small area to start with and set a time limit to even 15-20 minutes and see what you can accomplish.

Ask these two questions as you look at your belongings: Do I use this? Do I love this? If the answer to either of those is no, then consider getting rid of it. If the answer to both of those is no, then get rid of it!

One other tip: If you have anxiety about getting rid of something put it in a "half-way" spot. Designate a bag or box to house items you plan to get rid of and make a deal with yourself that at the end of the month you will actually take it to it's final destination. That way, if there is a certain item you lose sleep over because you are getting rid of it you have a way to pull it back out. But, most likely the items that you don't use or love will remain there and you won't even remember them.

De-clutter, and sleep well tonight!

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