August…A Great Month for De-Cluttering!

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   I decided towards the middle of July that I had finally had enough of my clutter in my house.  June I spent de-cluttering my body with the elimination diet so it was time to get the house de-cluttered as well. 

   I have also read that clutter in our homes affects our wealth and peace of mind…so for those reasons alone, I am determined to have a completely decluttered house!  I also want to get to the point that I am no longer embarrassed to show friends and family members all the rooms…

   Now, this is a daunting task and not one to take lightly.  Clutter is something most of us deal with and have some uneasy feelings(dare I say shame) about.  It ranges from closets and drawers that are over flowing…and if you open them the contents fall out…to no floor space left in a room. 

   I have been reading some good books on clutter and one by Cheryl Mendelson entitled “Home Comforts” has an interesting article about the concept of “Broken Windows”.  The theory is “any sign of social or physical neglect in a neighborhood causes people who are predisposed to antisocial conduct to feel more inclined to commit various crimes and misdemeanors.  If there is one broken window and it isn’t fixed, this suggests to the malefactors that no one cares or no one is in charge-therefore it is safe to write graffiti on the walls, litter and break other windows.  This in turn suggests to more determined wrongdoers that they could get away with mugging and burglary.  The first broken window, if not tended to, leads eventually to total social deterioration.” (Page 31)

   The “Broken Window” theory in our clutter is this…if you have a clear table or a chair and someone leaves a glass and a book there by mistake, it gives someone else the belief that it is now ok to put something there as well…and before you know it, clutter has begun.

   Julie Morgenstern’s book “Organizing from the Inside Out” has the concept that we should arrange our rooms the way Kindergarten rooms are organized.  The Kindergarten Model of Organization works because: a. The Room is divided into activity zones  b. It’s easy to focus on one activity at a time  c. Items are stored at their point of use  d. It’s fun to put things away because everything has a home  and e. there is a visual menu of everything that is important.   (page 60)

   Getting Started:

   If you want to De-Clutter with me this month, here are some initial suggestions that I have learned:

   1. Get boxes and label them:

       a. Keep

       b. Toss

       c. Give Away or Sell

       d. Undecided

   2. When you go into the room, start in one area and just begin putting the items into the boxes. 

       Do not spend the time reading the papers, letters, looking at the photos…they are put in the 

      “keep” box for  now for later sorting. 

      It is beneficial to have a timer because it will give you a sense of urgency.  Even doing 15 minutes a day is good…you can do one drawer at a time…one shelf or even a part of a shelf, a table top can be cleared.  Every bit helps.  Every bit gives you that sense of control once again. 

   3. Probably the easiest way to start is to take a garbage bag and go through your whole house and just pick up what you can see at a glance needs to be thrown out.  Give yourself a number of items to throw out before you stop…10, 15, 20…when you reach the number, you are done, tie the bag and throw it out.  If you would just do that every day, you will see strides…for example…in your kitchen, your bathroom, your underwear drawer, your linen closet… 

     I’ll be adding more tips as we go along…it’s also great if you have someone doing it with you..I presently have a few on line friends doing it with me and every day we let each other know what we have done…

   Will you join me?

   til next time…Eva 

 

 

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