Clutter Awareness Week

Clutter Awareness Week is celebrated annually during the third week in March. Some folks say it is the 4th week of March, but that detail doesn't really matter. What is important is that you are aware of the clutter that occupies your spaces. So-o-o-o... over the next two weeks, take a good look around your home and office and ask yourself:

  • Are there things that are just taking up space--not used, not loved?
  • Are there great ideas and unfinished projects that you hope to get to someday?
  • Are you keeping things because of a potential usefulness?
  • Do you believe that sometime in the future your stuff will have financial value? You just might be shocked that no one wants your stuff. (Read Forbes article, Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parents' Stuff.)  Oh, gee...maybe nobody wants mine either!

Maybe you don't even recognize your stuff as being clutter. Has it has been hanging around so long you are blind to its presence? Or, maybe you have successfully hidden the clutter away in the back of the closet, up in the attic, out in the backyard shed...


What is clutter?

Clutter is anything that is taking up space without serving a real purpose. Sometimes it is easier to let clutter stay put than to acknowledge that you r-e-a-l-l-y don't know why you are keeping it. Regardless of the reasons, clutter causes stress--physical, emotional and psychological stress.

There is a fine line between treasures and clutter. You can easily make that determination when you are aware of the purpose of everything in your life. Possessions should enhance your life, not detract from it. Do you love it? Does it add beauty? Is it truly a treasure with a purpose or just another gadget, memento, item on the shelf?


The Hidden Cost of Clutter

  1. Emotional costs - Are you overwhelmed looking for a specific item in the midst of excess? Is chaos and confusion a part of your everyday life? Do you suffer from mental clutter? Too much to do with too little time? And, who is going to reckon with the attic, basement shelves, closets, cabinets and storage facility when your life takes an unexpected detour?
  2. Financial costs - How much money is wasted when you have too much -- food, cosmetics, household supplies? Does waste create havoc with your budget? Do you purchase duplicates because you can't find what you want when you want it? Do you miss deadlines and end up paying extra fees?
  3. Spatial costs - How much space do you live it? How much space is used for storage of the excess? What is the value of your space? Take the cost of your home and divide by the total square footage - example: $150,000 divided by 1200 sq feet (length x wide) = $125 per square foot. Is clutter worth occupying that prime real estate?
  4. Time Costs - Can you find what you want when you want it, or are you constantly searching for lost items? How much time is wasted on a daily basis when too much stuff gets in the way?
  5. Maintenance Costs - How much do you spend (financially and time wise) to care for, clean, store and maintain your possessions? Are your possessions possessing you?
  6. Professional Costs - Do you show up late for work? Do you present yourself as shy, unkept or insecure? Do you frequently apologizing for missing deadlines? Have you missed opportunities because you are unprepared, in the wrong place, at the wrong time? Is your morning routine a hassle and tiresome? Is there a nagging feeling you forgot something before leaving the house? Does guilt prevail as you push your loved ones out the front door?

"Clutter is the by-product of indecision"

Beware of the cost of clutter and the impact on your life. Make the decision to stop the expense of keeping unwanted, unloved, unused, unappreciated stuff. Make room for more breathing space, more time, more money and less stress.

If you don't use it, get rid of it now! Otherwise, the cost of keeping stuff can be huge in the long run.


Life Management Skills:

  • Value your space.
  • Always leave all areas of your home clean, clutter-free -- the office, kitchen, family room, top of the dresser, closets, bathroom vanity...
  • Prepare a box in the garage or back hallway closet for items you discover that are taking up valuable space without adding value to your life.
  • Discard items that are broken. There is no value if an item is unusable.


Challenge: For the next two weeks, celebrate Clutter Awareness by making the decision to be clutter-free!


Life can be better!

  • Better without the clutter
  • Better without the distractions
  • Better without every nook, cranny, closet, drawer stuff to overflow
  • Better without stuff occupying your psyche

Read more:  The Value of Giving Your Stuff Away by The Happy Philosopher



Two steps forward

On March 1, I challenged you to take a good look around your home, become aware of what you have and where you have it. Then decide what is truly important, what is just taking up space, and what is your major decluttering goal that you are striving towards. Ask yourself, "Is this item worth the value of space it is occupying?"

Amazon has this book available in Kindle, Hard cover, Paperback or Audio.

How are you doing? Need help?

Do you have a concise, yet concrete goal you are working towards?

Did you write down your goal?


Life Management Skill - Step 1

Here is an interesting book about the importance of putting your goals down on paper. Even though this book was written in 2000, it is still powerful. Something magical happens when we articulate the roadway we choose to follow. As a colleague once said many years ago, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will do."

When we focus on proactive, positive thinking the available choices make more sense. Klauser states, "It is a scientific truth that setting your intent, focusing on the outcome, being clear about what you want in life can make your dreams come true."

Henriette Anne Klauser, Ph.D. explains how simply writing down your goals in life is the first step toward achieving them.

First step in your decluttering project is a lot like planning a trip. You need to determine your destination. If you do not know where you are going you will never know when you get there. Just about any road will do if you have no destination in mind.

So, grab paper and pen and start jotting down some of the things you would like to accomplish. The most powerful tool to achieve your goals is to write them down.  Put your dreams on paper.  Plan your future.


Life Management Skill - Step 2

Write it down! I am a firm believer in writing things down. Maybe it is the fact that I just do not have enough brain cells to store everything I want to remember, and I certainly do not have the ability to recall information at the very moment I need it. Usually the recall process is several hours, even several days, too late. So, therefore, I write things down.

  • When I actually schedule a task into my day planner there is a very good chance it will get done.
  • When I spend time writing out the menu for the week before heading to the supermarket, there is a good chance I will eliminate compulsive shopping and the need for extra trips for forgotten items.
  • When I write down specific errands, most often I accomplish the responsibilities in an expeditious manner. Time management is nothing more than managing tasks in the allotted time frame.
  • Writing things down in my day planner keeps me on track. As someone so aptly put it, “If you think it, ink it!”

Plan it to Happen:

  • Preparation
  • Passion
  • Process
  • Persistence / Perseverance

Do you want to read more on how to make those forward steps in achieving your goals?

Check out Plan It To Happen TipSheet HERE.



Best of wishes on your journey!