Too much clutter in your house, too much clutter in your head

Webster’s dictionary defines clutter as a crowded or confused mass or collection. Can the state of your house be considered a crowded mass or confused collection? Does the clutter weigh on your mind constantly? If so, it’s time to take back control of your house. Eliminating clutter is a gift to yourself and your family. Clutter does affect the whole family; it’s a source of tension and/or arguments among family members. Can you currently relax at home? Do you look forward to having guests visit? Are you constantly berating yourself for not getting more done? How does that make you feel? Do you stash boxes out of site? Clutter is exhausting and confusing.

Michigan State University Extension advises to start easy. Your first move is to make a plan. Don’t believe the headlines on magazines implying that organizing your house can be accomplished in a day or two. This theory is misleading and may set you up to fail when the goal isn’t met. You may need to enlist the help of others. Accept the help and trust them to respect your guidelines. Decide in advance what your rules and guidelines will be. Which room is first? Decide if you will keep every graduation invitation received, just family invitations or only photos of an event? Are you able to choose 15 favorite school papers from each grade instead of every paper brought home? Now you’ve started the process of eliminating clutter.

The next step is to divide and conquer. Name categories for sorting such as “keep, throw, sell/donate.” Avoid the category of “not sure.” Once you’ve finished sorting, remove the piles from your house. Fill trash bags and carry them to the curb. Load up your vehicle and stop by the recycling center or the re-sale store and donate that extra bedding to the women’s shelter.

How clear is your head right now? Is that feeling of dread still with you when reentering your house? Look what you’ve accomplished!

The most important step is next – continue the process. Everything cannot be kept, not even the coffee maker and set of dishes for the kids to take someday. Frankly, most kids don’t want our stuff. What did you do with the party dishes your mom saved for 25 years?

Continuing to work on your house will give you more physical space, emotional space and even a few extra dollars when you aren’t continually “buying new,” for what you simply can’t locate. Consider clutter as an intruder in your home, robbing you of time, energy and self-esteem. Throw this intruder out! As you rid yourself of items, you fill yourself, and your house with energy and peace, and your house will truly feel like your home.

To read more about this topic visit the Institute for Chellenging Disorginaztion website, Another similar article you may be interested in is “A clutter too deep for mere bins and shelves” in the New York Times.