Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Oh my gosh! I just noticed that I saved this post on Saturday, but did not schedule a time. I am truly sorry for being delinquent in noticing until now.

It has been said that clutter can cause anxiety and stress. This is definitely true for myself. When my surroundings become too chaotic  and cluttered I cannot concentrate. I do not know where to start on projects, and I feel claustrophobic. Once I am able to rid my surrounds of the clutter I can finally function.

There are many statistics that Americans accumulate the most stuff throughout life. We are a consumer society. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is a very common mindset. We have to have the newest items while still holding on the older items. We have big houses with separate areas devoted for storage, but need extra storage in garages and sheds. Then there is a whole business just for storing stuff that cannot fit into those places. It is amazing that the storage business profits $30 billion annually. Sparefoot

Clutter does not start out horribly.  It grows when people are not paying attention. First there are a few books on a table. Then a notebook, unopened mail, a few print outs, some receipts, grocery lists, and instruction manuals are slowly added throughout the month. The more that is idly added to the pile creates clutter. Telling yourself "I will deal with that later" does nothing for the problem. And then all of a sudden. The pile is huge and now takes at least an hour to sort and act upon.

That hour was wasted! That hour could have been used to read a book, take a walk, enjoy time with your family, or go out with friends. However, that time was spend inspecting items individually and deciding if they are to be trashed, shredded, put away, or given to others.

Decluttering tips:
 • Donate clothes that no longer fit or have not been worn in over 9 months. There is no point in storing clothes you cannot wear or do not like.

Old pieces
 • Old odds and ends should be gotten rid of. Mysterious electronic cords, old pens, parts of toys, etc. Keeping items for later use is pointless. They will collect in drawers, storage bins, and shelves.
 • Junk drawers are just hidden pockets of clutter. If the items do not have a specific place, get rid of that them.

Old paperwork
 • Paperwork is the #1 number cause of clutter for several  of my extended family members. Keep bills for 6 month and installment invoices until the purchase is paid off. 
 • Keeping instruction manuals is useless. Equipment information and directions can be found online.
 • Old notebooks should be combined or recycled completely. There is no point in keeping scribbles that you are not going to be read again.

Old formats
 • DVDs and CDs are obsolete. I would rather stream my entertainment needs than have bookcases full of discs.

 • I do not understand why some people have more than one planner or calendar. No one can effectively plan anything if they have to consult several schedules.
 • Owning duplicate items for in-case moments is useless. One can run to a store and pick up anything at anytime. If you do not want to leave the house, many websites have express shipping or overnight delivery options.

Craft supplies
 • Nothing can get out of hand faster than crafting supplies. Hoarding items for maybe crafts is a waste of space and money. I only buy items for a craft I am currently working on. Having too much stuff can cause items to get "lost". Those items will of course resurface when another is bought.

Brain clutter
 • Your brain can be cluttered as well. This can cause procrastinate, feelings of being overwhelmed, or trying to over multitask. I like to keep myself on task and focused with goal/to-do lists. I know what needs to be done immediately. I know what steps are needed to work toward bigger goals.
 • Also clear out e-mails. Then you know exactly what needs your attention. 

There are of course several ideas, steps, or programs on ways to declutter. I would not be able to follow the minimalist movement. But minimizing the clutter is a must for me.

image from: pixabay

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