Clutter Challenge

It is not about the daily increases, but the daily decreases.

Hack away at the unessentials.  ~ Bruce Lee

The 4th week in March (some experts claim it is the 3rd week, so take your pick) is National Clutter Awareness Week.  Heck… if you’ve got clutter, you are aware of it every day, not just one week a year. But, let’s be honest. Do you really want clutter hanging around day after day, month after month, year after year. I bet the answer is a resounding, “NO!”

Then, what are you going to do about it? Let’s get real. Clutter is not going to disappear just because you tidy up a bit. Nope. Clutter is here to stay if you fail to purge the excess, the unnecessary, the broken, then unloved…  There is no way you can simplify and get organized if clutter controls your space.

C  is for Clutter Control

>>  Clutter (verb): To fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner;
                       (noun): A disorderly heap or assemblage; a state or condition of confusion

>>  Control (verb): To exercise restraint; dominate; command; to hold in check or curb;
(noun): A restraint; prevention of spreading of something undesirable

 

Housecleaning expert, Don Aslett, declared his idea about clutter control in his book Clutter’s Last Stand. He wrote, “One day I had the sudden realization: If I stopped buying things right this moment, there is no way I could ever use all I have now.”

What an interesting clutter control concept  — stop buying!

Henry David Thoreau defined clutter when he said he would rather toss an object that was in his way than continually move it around just to dust. He knew what he wanted to do with his time—wander the woods, write books and deliberate life.

You can control clutter only when you have less. No doubt, you have heard the saying, “More is not better!” so take a look around and if you have way too much. Unfortunately, many people find it easier to be buried in clutter than figure out a way to eliminate it. Panic sets in when they look at all that has accumulated and wonder where to begin to clear the space. The immediate reaction is to run away, and that is what people do. They run off to work, to the mall or to volunteer positions. They head out the door for dinner and other “feel-good” entertainment. They use the excuse of busyness to run away from household clutter and the chaos in their life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of fun, wholesome activities, but when they become an outlet to get away from your cluttered environment, then it is simply an act of avoidance. Do you want to continue to live this way? Or, are you searching for a peaceful haven?

The first and most difficult step of clutter control is to acknowledge that it is a problem. Recognizing the fact that you are held in bondage to your possessions, will precipitate action to do something about it.

Look around:

  • Is the floor space open, safe and easily navigable?
  • What about flat surfaces? Are they available for use or totally useless?
  • Open a closet door and see what comes tumbling out. Are you in the habit of ducking for fear of getting bonked on the head?
  • Pull out a drawer and visualize finding what you want when you want it.
  • Take a peak in the attic, basement and garage. Are you amazed that clutter accumulates faster than a litter of rabbits?

 

You can take control when you start to hack away at the unessential stuff that has accumulated over the years. Designate a week or a month to work in one room. Block off sufficient time on your day-planner to declutter that area. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it! Each day set aside 15 minutes to focus on one spot (one corner, one drawer, one shelf or one closet) to eliminate those things that are broken, unloved, no longer useful, and do not add joy to your life. You can regain control and eliminate the clutter when you set aside the time to work on this task.

 

Remember the Hare and Tortoise story? Slow and steady wins the race. One step in front of the other over and over again.

Clearing clutter is not a marathon or a sprint. It is a steady, even jog down life’s path. Slow and steady. Remember the clutter didn’t appear overnight and will not disappear overnight. Take this journey one small step at a time!

Let me know how you are doing with this challenge to control your clutter.

New Year's Resolutions can be difficult to sustain. Help is available just for the asking. Let me know what you are seeking and the barriers you have encountered. I will contact you as soon as possible.

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