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De-cluttering one room at a time

By Matt - Saturday, May 1st, 2010

One of the biggest problems I find to keeping our house neat and tidy is clutter. Small items that just seem to pile up. At first they are cute little trinkets but then they get forgotten and become evil clutter. We rarely use the all of the things we own yet we still hang onto the stuff that we bought even if its broken (just in case). I had a perfect example of this in a laptop that I bought years ago when they were still very expensive; I hung onto this computer for dear life even though I no longer used it and it was out-dated. I held onto this because I paid a lot of money for it and admitting defeat and throwing it out felt like a waste. What was really a waste is how much energy I put into this dusty old computer that I didn’t use. It felt good to finally be rid of it and de-cluttering can have that effect.

Photo by yorkshirepuddin

Getting rid of all of the stuff that we keep but don’t use can be both challenging and rewarding. What we don’t realize is how much mental baggage we have when it comes to our clutter. Getting rid of it not only makes your house cleaner and neater it can help improve your mental well being. The real challenge is acknowledging we don’t need something and getting rid of it.

De-clutter one room at a time!
If you are about to start de-cluttering I would suggest doing this one room or even one part of a room at a time. The reason for this is that simply seeing the sheer volume of stuff that we need to go through to de-clutter can be daunting and you don’t want to be stopped dead in your tracks by the scariness of the task. It breaks the task of getting rid of the things you don’t need into more manageable chunks.

The process of really de-cluttering can take a while especially if you’ve never done it before. If you don’t need something or don’t use it then its probably a good candidate to be gotten rid of. Some items will be easy to figure out where to keep them or to get rid of them, but I find that most items fall into that grey area where there is logic to keep the item as well as to get rid of it. For those items one of the best suggestions I’ve heard of (and used) is to put everything into a bag or a box and set it aside; if you haven’t looked for any of the items in that bag or box just throw the whole thing out!

Don’t allow clutter back in
After you’ve gone through the effort of de-cluttering the biggest difficulty will be to keep new clutter out. Question any new item you’re bringing in, if you don’t really need it then don’t keep it. Or if the item is a replacement for an old item then get rid of the old item. Keeping clutter out will make it infinitely easier to keep the house neat and tidy (however neat and tidy you like it).

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This entry is filed under Decluttering, Tips and Hacks.

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