WellBeing: All That Clutter

We all have excuses for doing some of the negative things we do. Holding onto clutter is common, and having excuses as to why we keep all the “stuff” is par for the course.

You know what the real problem is with getting organized?

We have too much stuff!

I’m willing to bet you have some things you (or someone you live with) keep without having a good enough reason.

So why DO we keep so much stuff?

The thing is, it’s easier to find excuses for why you should keep something and delay making a decision rather than making a firm (and sometimes difficult) choice to say goodbye to your “stuff.”

Here are four of my favorite excuses…

1. “I might need it someday.”

Yes, you might. But the thing is most of the items we keep can easily be found or replaced within a day or two. Lots of men (my dad included) keep every screw and nail created and store it away like a squirrel with his nuts.

But what happens is these little tiny items create more and more clutter and it gets to a point where you can’t find that little screw anyway because it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

2. “I’m going to lose some weight and start wearing this again.”

I hope if you have a goal to lose some weight, you do everything in your power to make it happen. And when you do, I give you permission to go out and find a sale and buy some brand new clothes. You should be proud and it’s the perfect time to reward yourself.

3. “So-and-So Gave Me This.”

I’m all for keeping memories and items that remind us of people we love.

But the truth is, memories are not in the clutter, the knick-knacks and “stuff” you have shoved in a box.

I won’t say get rid of everything and it’s not always an easy decision. But try and just keep the special things you cherish.

And get them out in the open, on display – where you can enjoy them and have a story to tell when someone comments or asks a question about the item.

4. I paid good money for this…”thing!”

I’m sure you did. But the thing is, what has more value…this “item” you no longer have any use for or the way you enjoy your house? The item…or your happiness? The item… or your space?

5. Oh, I’m just trying to figure out what to do with it…

Okay, so maybe it’s not worth holding onto.

See, if it takes that much mental work to figure out what to do with something, you can take a pretty good guess that it may not be worth as much to you as you think.

If you can’t figure out what to do with something…it’s a safe bet you won’t miss it too much.

There is a lot more value in enjoying your home, your friends and your family than the “stuff” you paid for.


Clear Clutter for a Cozy Casa

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Is your house so messy you can never find what you’re looking for? Are you often late for work because you can never find your car keys? These tips will help save time and keep you more organized.

Is your house so messy you can never find what you’re looking for? Are you often late for work because you can never find your car keys? These tips will help save time and keep you more organized.

Keep things in a place that makes sense. Drop your keys in a dish by the front door so you won’t waste time looking for them throughout the house. Put anything you need to take with you by the front door- outgoing mail, your briefcase or the library books that need to be returned. This will save you time in the morning because you won’t be running around trying to gather what you need for the day.

Straighten up as you go. Pick up the newspaper and put in the recycle bin instead of leaving it on the coffee table. Fill the dishwasher after every meal instead of once a day. Put your groceries away rather than leave them on the kitchen table. How can you possibly know what food you do or don’t have if last week’s haul is still in the bag? This makes the kitchen an appealing place to enjoy a meal instead of a constant reminder of chores that need to be done.

Finish one project before starting another. I have a friend who has started to update his bathroom, never finished the project and is now working on his kitchen. His house is constantly in a state of confusion and he never manages to get any project completed because it’s now so overwhelming.

Keep your bathroom tidy. Wipe up the sink and vanity top after you shave or wash your face and put your toiletries away. Doing these small things as you go keeps the bathroom looking cleaner in case unexpected guests stop by- you won’t have to be embarrassed if they ask to use the facilities.

Organize your closets. If your closet is filled to capacity, you can’t see what you have. Instead of squeezing everything into your closet, keep out of season clothes in the spare bedroom closet. Keep shoes in boxes or shoe racks. Donate any garments that no longer fit or if you haven’t worn them in the past season. Don’t hang onto things you can’t use anymore because there is someone out there who will be grateful to have it.

Keep your important documents and papers in a safe place. Birth certificates, passports, marriage license, divorce papers, the deed to your house and the title to your car should be filed in a fireproof lockbox. Better yet, they should be kept in a safe deposit box at a bank close to home so it’s convenient for you to retrieve them when needed. If you keep important financial information on your home computer, it’s a good idea to backup to a flash drive and keep this at the bank too. The cost of a safe deposit box is worth the peace of mind knowing you won’t have to replace these documents if they were ever lost in a disaster.

Taking small steps every day to keep organized will help keep your casa cozy and clutter-free.


Clutter Quickly Grows With Procrastination…And Even Kills!

Why do so many people have trouble getting rid of clutter? Are you thinking about organizing your home…but still waiting for the perfect time? It’s called procrastination. Here’s how to get going today.

The most common problem most people have with getting rid of clutter and getting organized is not knowing how to begin or where to get started.

So it gets put off until…later.

Of course, the reasons are usually decent.

For one, there’s a lot going on in our lives. We go in so many directions and there never seems to be enough time to get anything done.

And it’s easier to put organizing off because you think it’ll take up too much time right now.

The other priorities — like eating and sleeping (minor things, right?) of course take first on the list.

But getting organized doesn’t have to take a lot of time every single day.

And if you don’t start getting organized, even just a little bit at a time, there are some very real negative affects that, well, could kill you.

A little drastic… I know.

But the affect clutter and disorganization has on your health is very, very real.

It adds stress to your already busy life.

It sucks away your energy and makes you tired.

In many people, it increases the symptoms of depression.

But enough of the negative stuff!

Here’s how we can benefit from being organized and getting rid of clutter…

-More sleep.

-A better mood every day.

-Better relationships.

-Easier house management.

-Your bills get paid on time.

-More space.

-More time to do things you actually enjoy!

This is all very real stuff and getting organized should not be put on the back burner any longer.

But I know…it’s still too easy to put it off for “later.”

I will admit, the here and now makes it easier to pile things on the counter, on chairs and tables or toss things in closets and drawers.

It’s too easy to put things down and ignore my simple and important rule of “touch it once.”

Though, like I said earlier…clutter can be deadly.

No joke.

Back in January of this year a 62 year old woman from Washington was found dead under nearly six feet of dishes, boxes and “clutter” that apparantly collapsed on her.

A very sad, and very drastic story.

Take this poor woman’s life back about thirty years. How many days went by when she procrastinated and said she would “get to it tomorrow.”

Now I hope your situation is not as drastic but reality is reality. And unless you get things under control right away, you just don’t know what a disorganized house can lead to.

At the very least I bet you’re feeling stressed and a little frustrated with a real desire to simplify your life at home.

It’s not a lot to ask, is it?

And we all know stress is not good.

But maybe your situation isn’t so out-of-control, and you just want to get rid of clutter and get your things in order.

Or you need to manage papers better because once in a while you forget to pay a bill that was sitting somewhere in a pile (because you don’t have a real system for your bills — which you need.)

No big deal, right?

After all, what’s a $5 payment here or a $35 late fee there?

It adds up.

So how ’bout you take a step towards ending clutter in your home and getting organized…before it kills you?


How to End Clutter and Make Home Organization Easier

The reality is we are a society who likes to accumulate and, dating back to the Great Depression, we tend to keep everything we believe has monetary value when, in reality, it really doesn’t.

I’ve spoken to quite a few people over the years who say they have very nice clothes they love but the don’t wear them anymore.

But my question is this: If you value something so much…then don’t you think you should be wearing it?

The reality is we are a society who likes to accumulate and, dating back to the Great Depression, we tend to keep everything we believe has monetary value when, in reality, it really doesn’t.

For example, a pretty dress or a nice suit you bought ten years ago went for what can be considered a lot of money.

And the problem is you haven’t touched it in nine years because, as most clothes do, it went out of style.

Could it come back in style someday? Maybe. Styles do often return.

But this is not a reason to hold onto things you don’t use…”just in case.”

You feel like, because you spent “good” money on it, you are throwing money away. But ask yourself this… is it putting money in your pocket sitting there in the back of your closet with dust on the shoulders?

Is it giving you anything? Do you benefit at all from keeping outdated outfits?

Now ask yourself one more question… will you gain anything by getting rid of it and donating it to charity?

Of course you will!

The benefits?

More space to be able to keep the clothes you are going to wear (we only wear 50% of the clothes we own, by the way.)

I might even suggest buying a new outfit for every three to five you get rid of.

The purpose?

Because new clothes make people feel good. I don’t recommend buying new clothes for the sake of buying new clothes and throwing away your money. But you’ve got to admit putting on a new pair of pants that make us look better is a nice, uplifting feeling.

The thing is the items taking up space, yes, you paid for them.

But by keeping something you no longer wear or use you are not getting anything in return but more clutter and a lack of storage space you could be using for something else.

Here is something you should do right now with items (they don’t have to be clothes) you are holding onto because you paid good money for them.

1. Go find ten items you own for one reason and one reason only… because you paid for it.

2. Grab a piece of paper and make three columns.

3. Write the items you are having trouble getting rid of in the left column. In the middle column, write “why I am keeping this item” and in the third column write “what will I gain by getting rid of this item.”

My guess is you will have a lot more in the right column than you will in the middle.

Be specific with both.

If you can honestly fill up the middle column with more reasons of why you should keep it, and they are good, legitimate reasons, then maybe you shouldn’t get rid of it.

But I’m willing to bet that won’t be the case.