Getting Rid of Clutter: You Can Do It!

The definition of clutter is a personal one. In general, clutter is an unorganized or unused collection of things. Some people think that nicknacks or papers sitting on the table are clutter. And all those gifts and candles that you just didn’t know what to do with so you put them on the shelf - that can be clutter too. Clutter can make you feel you’re your home or workspace is crowded or dirty, and can impact your productivity as well. Too many picture frames or glass vases stacked on a shelf will eventually get dusty, because it is annoying to clean them and the spaces in between. Clutter can be in a closet or a junk drawer (we all have at least one of those), the front yard, your office, or your living room. It can even be items you actually value that are hastily placed in a messy manner out in the open. You can get rid of clutter by following a few simple steps.

Steps for getting rid of clutter:

  1. Get in the right frame of mind – make sure you are feeling relaxed, not rushed, and focused on the task at hand before you attempt to get rid of your clutter. You are going to be making many small decisions about what stays and what goes, and if you are feeling annoyed or rushed, you may end up getting rid of something that you regret in the future.
  2. Start small – pick one section of a room, one shelf or one drawer to start. You don’t want to get overwhelmed by taking on a whole room all at once. Small victories will keep you going!
  3. Prepare – set up a few empty boxes for things you want to get rid of and those you just want to put away. Have some cleaning supplies handy, like a dust rag to wipe down things you will keep and clean off the shelves/drawers you are working with after the clutter is gone.
  4. Get started – begin by picking up each item on the shelf, in the drawer, or on the floor. As you do, think about whether or not you use this item frequently, rarely, or not at all. Those things you don’t use at all need to be either stored away or given away to your local charity shop – keep in mind that someone else in need will use that item! Place things you want to keep for use or enjoyment in a separate pile. Once you are done going through all of your stuff, clean the surface area and start placing those items you want to keep back in some organized fashion.
  5. Stay positive – if you find that you just can’t get rid of every book you’ve ever read or every birthday candle you’ve blown out, that’s OK. Get rid of a few things, and box up those items you don’t need right away. After that box has sat in the garage for a year, you may be ready to part with a few more things. Even if you just make incremental progress, you are still heading in the right direction. Chances are, you will start to feel more comfortable in your home or work environment with less clutter hanging around, and you will begin the process again at a later time.


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