Are your family and friends telling you to clean up? Is your spouse threatening to hold a cleaning intervention on your behalf? Do you refer to the piles of clutter in your home office as organized chaos? If you answered yes to any of these, then it may be time to let go of those things that are adding to the clutter.
There are a few problems that can come from filling your home with too much clutter. These problems include a total lack of organization, procrastination, missed or delayed deadlines, and marital problems. According to Jeffrey Mayer, author of “Time Management for Dummies”, you can save yourself an hour a day by getting organized. If your house or office is filled with clutter, you are wasting that hour by looking for things you can’t find.
I could devote several pages to the excuses people use when they save useless items, but what I really wanted to get at is this. There comes a time when you have to get rid of those things that only add to the clutter. So many people collect, and save, things in the event that someday they might need it, or they buy something they “need” at the moment, and after two weeks it just becomes a great place to store their dust.
The best way to start to de-clutter your home is by getting rid of those things you don’t need. There is no specific time when you should get rid of the stuff you’re saving unless it’s food. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of it if it sits unused long enough to collect dust.
I make a list with three categories, and each item in question goes into a category. The titles for these categories are save, donate, and trash.
Under “save” I put down everything I still use. If I still use it, I obviously still need it. The “donate” category is for any item that I don’t use, or don’t use enough to keep it, but it is still in good workable condition. For anything that I don’t use, that also happens to be in disrepair, it will go in the “trash” category.
Once you have made the list, you will know how to take care of those items you don’t need, and you can get your family and friends off your back. Don’t forget to follow through with acting on the list, and on the items you donate, get a receipt.
Challenge: If it’s too difficult at first, start with getting rid of the items you know you won’t miss, like the third Black and Decker steamer that’s just collecting dust under the sink.