With anything you want to do, getting started is often the most difficult part. When you start to make other changes in your life you are likely to want to do something about any clutter in your home. When you start to do something about the clutter you are likely to have the energy to make other changes. However, you have to make a start somewhere.
Karen Kingston in her book, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui has a suggestion for getting motivated to deal with clutter if you just haven’t got the determination to tackle it yet. She suggests working first on a self improvement project. You might attend a class on positive thinking or improving self esteem. Karen says there will then come a time when you are no longer able to stand the clutter. She does point out it may take a long time to reach this point. Having said that, if you aren’t doing anything about the clutter problem and keep feeling frustrated, disappointed in yourself and tired, what have you got to lose by trying the self improvement route?
Kingston says when your life is full of clutter there is no space for anything new to come into your life. Clutter is a form of protecting yourself from the uncertainty of life, especially emotional issues. She also says once the problem of clutter has been addressed your home will be a ‘source of support and nourishment.’ She recommends getting rid of everything that has no particular meaning or importance to you so you will feel ‘lighter in body, mind and spirit.’
Here are ten tips for dealing with clutter:
• Start out small so you get a feeling of achievement. You might start by de-cluttering one drawer or a shelf in a cupboard. You may like to set a timer for 20 minutes or an amount of time that suits you. Stop when the timer rings. This is useful if you are finding the task overwhelming. You can tell yourself you only have to do it for a set amount of time.
• Sort things you are going to part with into labelled boxes or bags. The categories could be rubbish, repair, recycle, charity (or garage sale) and return to owner. (Holding a garage sale takes much effort so if you are lacking energy you might find it better to donate to charity. If you decide to have a garage sale put a date in your diary and do it soon so the clutter leaves your property.)
• Try to get things you are parting with out of your house or shed as soon as you can. You haven’t completed dealing with the problem if boxes of stuff sit by the front door for months. You have just moved it to a new location.
• Put a time limit on how long before these things are to be gone. Things that are rubbish or can be put in the recycle bin should be quick to deal with. If things in the repair box are still there after a reasonable amount of time you are not going to fix them. They need to be disposed of so they don’t continue to haunt you.
• If you are like me and have trouble getting rid of newspaper cuttings and photocopied articles because you think you might need that information one day, ask yourself if the information is on the internet. It probably is and in fact could be more current.
• Sort items you are keeping. Put items such as cords into labelled zip lock bags so you know what they are for. This is particularly important if you aren’t a techno whizz and won’t recognise what a certain cord is for in the future. (I am speaking from experience.)You may need to ask other people in your household. Some cords could be for items you no longer own and so they can be disposed of.
• Put all these cords and electronic things in a box to keep them together.
• Extension cords can be hung in a wardrobe or shed wall where they are easily visible and won’t get tangled.
• Put small items into labelled boxes or bags to make it easy to find them in future. Keep items for a hobby together in a labelled box.
• Reward yourself after a session of de-cluttering to keep yourself motivated.
When you have de-cluttered your home it is important that the things you have kept do not become cluttered again. That is where sorting and labelling things is important. Display ornaments you love so you see them frequently and enjoy them. You don’t benefit from the beauty of an object that is in the back of the cupboard.