“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lays opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
Not everyone can follow the rule “a place for everything and everything in its place”, as some people enjoy many things happening at once around them. The questions are; “How do you find the simplicity, harmony and opportunity, when so much is going on around you” and “Where do you begin?”
First off, there’s nothing wrong with clutter. Many people find comfort in the nests they have built around them, collecting treasures and memories through their life. However when the clutter grows out of control, problems can arise, so this is where you have to roll up your sleeves, dig in and throw out!
This can seem like a mighty large and daunting task, but have no fear! Tackle your clutter problem one step at a time, just as you would with any goal. This project might not be something you can finish in one hour, one day or one week, so be sure to sit down and plan out your time wisely. You don’t want to be knee deep in disaster with a ticking clock. So start small, focus on only your bookshelf or your desk and then save other areas for another time.
If there’s a mountain of books and paper that has piled up somewhere and ready to topple over, that may be your starting point. Getting the large, intrusive stuff out of the way first, will sometimes make the rest of the task seem like a piece of cake.
Another thing that really helps with the task is making sure you have all supplies needed to help you clean out your clutter. I like to grab trash bags and go around collecting and dumping all of my major trash first. This includes old envelopes and papers that I have scribbled on. I also like to have a container of wet naps and dusters so I can clean any surfaces I come across along the way. It’s amazing how fast a cluttered space can collect dirt and dust!
Remember your goals! Just because Betty is calling about the bake sale, doesn’t mean you need to drop what you’re doing to answer. I know from personal experience that once my attention is distracted, it’ll take me a while to refocus and return to the “zone”. Turn on some upbeat music to help keep you energized and focused on what you’re doing.
The main ingredient to conquering clutter is organizing it. Storage isn’t the only issue a clutter bug has to worry about, but also display. Most clutter bugs like the idea of being surrounding by their treasures and possessions, so the question is – how do you display all of these things without making the place look messy? There are many creative ways to decorate with your trinkets, like adding in extra shelves, shadow boxes, or highlighting nooks and crannies. Place like items together in groups. Decorative boxes are a wonderful way to store possessions, and they make it easy rotate your trinkets throughout the year.
Other ways you can organize your clutter is by setting up sections for everything. Set aside an area in your closet for your work outfits, so you spend less time digging through piles of clothes. Set up your coffee section by having all of your coffee needs in one area. Keeping like items together will help save you time when looking for them. It also gives various items a place.
Limited space can cause problems for a clutter bug. Here are some ideas of where you can put things:
• added shelving and enclosed furniture
• back to back furniture
• tops of furniture for displaying collections
• install ceiling hooks for hanging
• look for hollow spaces to store things like under the bed or behind sofas
Or just be creative! I like to store things in decorative suitcases – they double as a great bedside table too!
As a final note, when looking for a place to put your clutter, be sure that it’s easy for you to access, or else things will never be put back.
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