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Quick Ways To Deal With the Clutter in Your Life


The word “clutter” has a lot of weight in its own right. Nobody enjoys clutter. We tell our kids not to clutter the counters or their rooms, and we repeatedly try to de-clutter our garages, our desks and our closets.

But actually, clutter is anything that slows us down. It’s not just the stack of news papers and magazines, or the extra boxes in the garage. To really be clutter free we might need to do a top to bottom clutter test and toss of our own world.

How does your kitchen work?

Are you carrying a cluttered load of extra recipes, unused cookware, and extra canned goods. Set aside an hour or two and do a clean out. That should give you room for everything that winds up on the counter instead of being stored.

How does your garage work?

Do you carefully pull in, or worse, park on the driveway, since all of the inside space has been swallowed up by bikes, sports equipment, extra pieces of furniture and assorted other hobby, tools and unnamed boxes that no one wants to claim? Take a Saturday and take control of your garage again. Use hooks to store things on the walls or add some shelving. Remove or replace furniture and reevaluate everything else - tools, sports equipment, etc. Then actually enjoy using the garage.

How does your family room work?

Play areas, game areas, and comfortable seating all work here, but when the tables are overflowing, and the floors seem to be convenient dumping grounds for shoes, books, and sports equipment, it might be time to sort and sift, and add some storage cabinets or bins to return the room to an inviting area for everyone.

How do your bathrooms work?

If every cabinet is overflowing, start with a cleanout and then consider some vertical shelving or baskets.

How do your bedrooms work?

Sleep is worth cultivating and creating a stress free, inviting area with comfortable mattress, pillows and bed is worth the effort. Comb the area for loose books, magazines and assorted other clutter. Then pick some soothing colors and blackout drapes, moving stray clutter and unneeded furniture out. Make the whole area a serene, uncluttered inviting retreat.

How does the rest of your life work?

We also get cluttered in our thinking, about the financial plans we need to complete, the health and dental check-ups we may or may not have scheduled, and the long term goals for jobs, travel and family that just seem to always be on the edge of our thoughts, but never quite finalized. Give yourself some deadlines – even considering posting a chart in a visible spot, where you can add and subtract, goals, dates and topics. A lot of that clutter weight of half-finished thoughts should lift as you actually pinpoint what should or could happen. Clutter never completely vanishes, but gaining control is well worth the effort.

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