“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris”
Keeping ahead of clutter can be a huge challenge. Most people’s homes have the lived in look, with pictures, mementos and other special touches. But in my experience, clutter piles grow in the night. I swear it seems that paper piles can be bigger than when I went to bed. Things continue slowly pile up in piles and stacks.
At first, stuff seems to not get in your way of day to day happenings. But suddenly, you hit your clutter limit and are stressed when you walk through the door. Feeling disorganized can cause you to feel overwhelmed and just plain worn out. When does clutter become a problem?
• You consistently lose your keys
• You can’t find important documents or forget to pay bills on time.
• You spend more time trying to find something than it takes to get organized.
I have to confess that I was not born with an organization gene. My sister and mother arrange everything in a neat and tidy fashion. Labeled boxes, bins and baskets line their homes. I practice certain habits to keep from drowning in a sea of papers and boxes. Over the years, I learned to change how I looked at keeping things orderly. There are so many books and websites suggesting ways to get organized. But what about ways your mind justifies not coping with clutter? Here are ways that clutter can trick you and stress out your life:
Clutter is a time thief. An accumulation of stuff is just a low level of annoying stress. It’s like background noise as you move through your day to day existence. Something comes up that you need an important documents or item that you just can’t place your hands on. It then takes more time to hunt for things than it does to sort things out. As the piles grow, so does the time needed to search for what you need.
Put it off. Now that clutter has stolen precious time out of your day, there is not enough time to deal with the clutter. Piles of unorganized clothes or boxes just look overwhelming to handle.
Clear out or move out. You’ve hit the end of your rope. Things are stacked up so high and wide that you can’t make it into a room, closet and garage. It seems like it’s time to back up and truck and throw away
How do you relate to clutter? Denial keeps us thinking that a little mess isn’t a problem. It then becomes easy to procrastinate and rationalize why it can’t be done. Begin by making a commitment to address one pile of clutter or one drawer you need to clean out. Set aside 15 minutes to work on the pile. Be very conscious of how you would like to see using the space you are sorting through. When you finish your allotted time frame, make another commitment when you will continue. It could be right then or even tomorrow.
Regardless, you took action on something that has been stressing you out. Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishment. And kick stress and clutter to the curb.