"You never know how clutter free you can be until being clutter free is the only choice you have." Where have I heard something like that before? Accumulating things (clutter) is actually easier than giving up your " collection". We definitely get attached to our things and keep them for many different reasons - we loved it once, it was handed down to us, it was given to us by a person we care about, we have always had it - just pick a reason.
I started out life as a collector - not a clutter buster, but after moving 43 times since 1968, living for years on a boat and in campers where there is no choice except to keep it simple I learned a lot about how to keep the clutter down. The boat and the camper would only hold so much. It is the same in our small house here on the river. Anything that we don't use or love has to go.
Those of you who live with someone else probably know that what may seem like clutter to you doesn't necessarily seem like clutter to someone else. A butter tub of random screws is clutter to me, but not to my DH and bags of yarn or a box full of art supplies are pure clutter to him. So you can see the need for compromise.
You can see the two pictures of my work area in these pictures. I have to admit that most of the time it looks like the one on the left, but I get a lot more done when it looks like it does on the right. Here are just a few tips to make you a champion Superstar Clutter Buster
- Don't bring it home to begin with - A dear friend told me years ago that a shopping trip was like a trip to a museum for her. She would visit it, enjoy it and put it back on the shelf. If she took it home she would have to dust it, pack it, insure it and find a place for it.
- Pick up once a day - We tend to try and use flat surfaces in our house as storage, so the table, desks, kitchen counter or bathroom counter collect clutter. We try to clean them off once a day.
- Clean one shelf or drawer every week - Keep a bag for things you don't need and once a week clean out a drawer or shelf. Once the bag is full, drop it off at one of the local charities who do resale for fund raising.
- Junk Drawer - You have one, you know you do. My take on this is fine - just make it just one drawer and it is small. Ours actually only measures about 12" x 14" x 3" so I don't worry about it. When it doesn't close I take something out. Hey, you're allowed a little leeway.
- Magazines - With digital magazine availability many of us don't take as many print magazines as we used to, but those we do take can pile up. Clear them out every few months - you aren't likely to ever get back to them. If there is an article you can't do without either scan and save it or cut it out and file it. Take the magazines to a nursing home, hospital waiting room or other places where people are waiting.
- Saving things - This one is probably an entire article on its own. Yes, you might need that box of unmatched screws, those stained napkins, that 6" piece of green wire or that tool with the broken handle, but will you be able to find it - not likely.
It's a lot easier to prevent clutter than to get rid of it It took time for the clutter to seep in, and will take a while to get it under control, but you can be a Clutter Busting Superstar