Thursday, July 22, 2010
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Clutter and I are not friends. We parted ways many many years ago and I am okay if we keep it that way. For me clutter makes my mind go completely blank and my skin start to itch. Okay the skin itching is an exaggeration but the mind going blank is not too far off. I have found that when I let clutter build up it is hard to be really present and have the ability to dream beyond what is. Living without clutter gives you a freedom that can’t be enjoyed in the midst of junk.
One of the things I love to do most is help people clean out their clutter. Yes, you heard me right. I love to organize other peoples junk. You know that runner’s high people talk about. I get an organizational high. I would go as far as to say it’s better than a runner’s high. Many times when I go home to my parents house I organize some part of their house...pantry...closet...cabinets. I’m under the rule of thought that everything has a place and if it doesn’t have place then one needs to be created or it needs to go. I have a few rules that I use when going through my own things...and others. I thought I would share them with you and you can use them to go through your clothes, messy closet, guest room closet, kitchen stuff, pantry, garage...or wherever needs a clean up!
Here are three questions to ask yourself.
1. “Do I need this?” I know there are many definitions of need. Many people say they “need” something when they have a hard time letting go of it. “But I NEED it.” But when you ask yourself this question really be honest with yourself. You know whether or not you REALLY need it. Need really only covers a couple of areas. You either use it everyday, weekly, or seasonally. If you haven’t needed it in the past 4 years, I would say you don’t actually need it.
2. “Do I use this?” A lot of times you will say that you “need” something but the clincher is do you actually “use” it. My rule of thumb is if you say you need this particular sweater but you did not wear it last season you do not use it...so it goes in the pile. We tend to keep a lot of “needs” that we never “use”. I understand that some things are seasonal so you aren’t going to be using them everyday, but be honest with yourself. If there is something missing...like a lid or a button...either find the missing piece or buy the missing piece...if you don’t do either you will not use it...so it’s best to let it go. You will always go to the thing that is usable. If you don’t use it why would you want to keep it.
3. “Do I love this?” This the last question to ask yourself. Because when it comes down to it if you don’t love it you aren’t going to use it and then you don’t need it. I try to only keep things that I love because that is what I am going to go to when I am looking for something in particular...the thing I love. Each season these “loves” are going to change...that’s why it’s good to go through things yearly. The longer you keep things the more attached you become to them. Then all the sudden a picture frame has as you in tears as you are giving it away. One important thing I try to remember is it’s not the object that has all the value...it’s the memories that go with it. You will always have the
For those that have a hard time giving away things like t-shirts or sweaters that hold so much value during a time in your life (high school/college) make them into a t-shirt quilt. I did this and it is one of my most favorite blankets. Whit’s mom helped my make it which made it even more special. If you have movie tickets or concert tickets that you love to keep over time, figure out a way to organize them in a way that you can enjoy them. Don’t just throw them in a drawer. Honor the things that you love.
I think the most effective way to stay organized is maintenance. You have to go through things on a regular basis. Don’t save it all for your kids to go through one day when you have left them all your favorite pens that you loved writing with.:)
Do you find it hard to keep clutter away?