Sunday, June 1, 2014

Clearing Clutter

I’m an organizing junkie, a neat freak. I thrive in neat and tidy environments. I get cranky, sluggish, and unproductive when things are messy and cluttered. I like being organized and it is easy for me. I have lots of friends who do not operate this way; it does not come easily to them and they are befuddled by the concept.

I will share some of my techniques with you in the hopes of inspiring you to clear the clutter and experience some of the fabulous benefits of being organized and clutter- free.

Paper seems to create the biggest problem. We are bombarded with bills, solicitations, receipts, coupons, newspaper, and magazines.  I do not believe in in-boxes. In boxes get full very fast, generally faster than they get emptied. The scary part is what is at the bottom of the in-box? Any type of container that holds a large quantity of papers is a potential risk for overwhelm. Touch each sheet of paper once. The rule of thumb is:  handle it and file it or toss it. Filing cabinets are essential. A common fear is throwing something away and then needing to refer to it later. Just file it. At the end of each year, thin out the files. Plastic bins work well for storing favorite photos, cards, and letters.

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. I suggest starting small. Set aside 20 minutes each day. Focus on one area at a time. Set a timer and get to work.  When the timer goes off, stop. Then begin again the next day.

Clutter is just stuff that has accumulated over time creating a sense of chaos. It helps to have designated places for such things as incoming mail, car keys, wallet or purse, jackets, and lunch bags. As you walk in the door, everything goes in its designated spot. This helps keep counters, tables, and floors clear and minimizes time wasted searching for lost items.

Once a month, take a bag of clothes or unused items to Goodwill. This helps those in need and helps to create extra space in the home.

Spaciousness is one of the wonderful benefits of a clutter free environment. Clutter free spaces nourish the soul and free the mind.  Tidy spaces help create an atmosphere of peace and calm.

Martha Salazar

If you are interested in Clearing Clutter, Stepping Stones Books and Gifts has some additional resources available to help.

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