The Nature of Clutter
What is clutter – different types
Clutter can exist in three primary forms.
How Clutter Affects You
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration impairment
Other ways clutter negatively affects you: The feeling of shame and loneliness from knowing your home and space is out of control or lack of focus from feelings of overwhelm. It’s important to remember that everything in your life takes emotional energy to maintain whether you see it every day or not. Also, obesity has been linked to severe clutter and hoarding disorder.
4 Ways to Beat Back Clutter
Clutter can be conquered with a little work and often with the help of a Professional Organizer. With these four quick, easy steps, you can be on your way to a more clutter-free life
The first step
Always, always the first step is decluttering. This step can be both the easiest and the most difficult, sometimes at the same time. If you’re decluttering a physical space, begin by establishing four categories of items you’ll be going through. Discard, donate, don’t know, and keep. When I work with clients maintaining momentum is critical to success. The “don’t know” category is like taking a test where you answer all the questions you can right away and then come back to the ones that need a bit more work. Things that you can’t decide on quickly, go in the “don’t know.” From time to time, go back through the don’t know, and the decisions will be more comfortable. The same goes for digital clutter and paper clutter. The only difference is there usually isn’t a donate category.
Second, after you’ve sorted all the items is deciding on locations for everything. With physical clutter, I follow the 5S methodology for placement of essential things. 5S is a traditional way of organizing critical items. You can read more about 5S here. Begin by placing things that you often use closer than those that you use less frequently. If you’re working on a digital project, this could be setting up email folders or flagging that keep relevant emails easy to access. If you’re decluttering a paper project, setting up a file system that keeps critical documents at your fingertips, while less essential documents could be filed in a longer term location.
The third step to becoming clutter-free is acquiring different storage containers for the objects you’ve decided to keep. For physical clutter, you could have lined leather boxes, decorative fiber containers, or plastic tubs. For digital projects, you might think of a program that will help you keep your emails organized.
Lastly, and in my opinion, the most important is to establish a review process to keep your system running. For physical clutter, please give some thought when purchasing items, or going to thrift stores or perhaps Costco. Keep a donation box in your closet to keep your closet organized. Online shopping has contributed to clutter as it’s so easy to order virtually anything. Make a habit of taking a day before pressing the “ORDER” button.
One of the most important things to remember after you’ve decluttered: When your space is free of clutter, your mind is free to imagine a future than the clutter in your life has been holding hostage. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is to help clients experience the joy of living a more clutter-free life. if you’re ready to live your best life through decluttering, click here to contact us today