Clutter, Clutter Everywhere by: ClutterBusters
Why Do People Have Clutter?
Work – Many hours of the day are devoted to a full-time job leaving little time to deal with putting away things at home.
Kids – This is two-fold. Taking caring of them leaves little time for anything else and kids themselves can create mounds of clutter in a matter of minutes. They usually have more toys then they will ever play with but everyone hates throwing them out. I always ask clients to consider letting toys go to donate for other kids who don’t have as much as they do. Many are eager to do their bit. It’s also a good idea to set aside 10-15 minutes each evening having them put away most of what they have pulled out. Teach them when they are young.
Health Issues – Many people have problems such as bad backs which stop them from being able to pick things up when they drop them on the floor. Some are unable to lift any weight.
Procrastinators – will always find something more interesting or fun to do, putting off decluttering until there is just too much for them to get control of.
Emotional Attachment – This is a big one. People hold on to so many of their possessions because they have memories attached to them, whether they be of family members and friends or events over the years. The key is to try to find the most important ones: create a small collection and hopefully let the rest go.
“I might need that” – This covers a lot. People feel that there is a use for everything and will keep something for years and never actually use it. Huge amounts of space are allocated to all sorts of things, taking up prime real estate.
Recycling – People don’t want to add to a landfill so make plans to recycle as much as they can but usually just end up holding on to it instead of getting it to where it needs to go.
The Cost Of Clutter
Frustration – Never able to find important documents, keys, tools and many other everyday items.
$$$$ – Buying duplicate items because you can’t find the original ones you bought.
Time – Hours can be spent looking for absolutely everything. If it had an assigned spot and was put back, you could go straight to it.
Arguments – Tension over the clutter and the ability to find things causes stress amongst spouses and partners. Typically one is more tolerant of clutter than the other.
Social Embarrassment – If the house is cluttered you are less likely to invite friends and family to visit and if you do, everything is typically thrown into a room and the door closed.
Health and Safety – Many health issues can be attributed to clutter and in more extreme cases, the resulting dust, mold and pest problems. Risks include depression, trips and falls, allergies, skin conditions and sleeplessness.
Risk to Others – Firefighters and rescue personnel are at risk if they have to climb over piles on the floor or loose items rolling around.
Fire – Large accumulations of papers, clothes and other miscellaneous increases the risk of fire spreading quickly.
How To Deal With Clutter
There are so many ways and tricks to deal with clutter and many are for specific areas of the home. For now, here are some general organizing tips that can be applied to several situations.
The biggest stumbling block tends to be not knowing where to start. It’s kind of a Catch-22, where you can’t do this bit until you do this other bit but can’t do that until…. etc. etc……. so nothing happens. Don’t look at the whole room, start with a small area first, do one drawer, one cabinet, one box at a time.
There are 3 categories to think about when going through things. Is it Trash, Donate or Keep? The quicker you can make this decision the more you will accomplish.
If you have the time and energy you could sell good items either in a yard sale or online. You have to decide if it is worth the effort if you’re only bringing in a few dollars with the sale.
Clothes – When was the last time you wore it? Does it still fit? Is it still in fashion? Is it torn or damaged in some way? Prune down as much as you can so that you have a wardrobe that is usable and visible.
Try and get all family members involved with their own personal items and then attack the family area together.
Junk Mail – Have a container by the front door and put all junk mail in immediately.
Here are a couple of useful links:
www.catalogchoice.org – opt out of junk mail deliveries.
www.yellowpagesoptout.com – opt out of phone book delivery.
www.earth911.com – A great resource to find somewhere to re-cycle practically anything.
Best Buy has a program to take computers, keyboards, cables, small appliances and electronic equipment and they will see that it is recycled. They also destroy old hard drives for security.
If you need help tackling any project, give Clutterbusters!! WA a call and we can help. Mention this article and get 10% off of all appointments booked before October 31, 2016.