I will wrap up this series by providing practical tips on managing our clutter…..
A great way to get the upper hand on clutter is to use the 6 box method. First, get 6 large boxes or Ghana must go bags and label them: Garbage; Give Away; Keep; Repair; sale, and Undecided. Start in one area of your home and as you go through things, either put items away in their proper place or sort them into one of these boxes to be dealt with accordingly. Helpful hint: store the Undecided box away and after six months if you haven’t touched any items in it, get rid of them.
Clean up one area at a time. Trying to deal with all your clutter at once will just leave you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. After all, it has taken you years to accumulate all that stuff – so don’t worry if you can’t get rid of it all in one day! Break the job down into manageable tasks – start with one particular room, the junk drawer, a closet or the surface of your desk. Don’t know where to begin? Start with the place where you spend the most time and go from there.
Learn to ignore the ‘I might need it later’ reason to hang on to something. Basements, closets, and other spots in your home are often filled to the brim with things that you ‘may need later’. Face it – most things are not worth hanging on to. Be brave and just let it go. If you do not use something within 6 months to a year please donate them to charity, orphanage, motherless babies home, nannies, help, friends and families in need or if they are of very good value sell them on eBay, garage sale or word of mouth. Old newspapers magazines that are out of date… burn them, take the clippings u need store them but like I said earlier if you do not look at them within a year burn them!!!!!! Throw away expired makeup and drugs check the use by date!
If you have children, raise them to deal with clutter effectively. Toys that are outgrown or no longer played with are a good place to start. Every six months have them go through their belongings and choose some things that they no longer need. Then, teach them the value of giving by donating the toys to places like hospitals or orphanage.
Built up mail is a common cause of clutter. When you pick up your mail, go through it right away. Toss any junk mail immediately and then divide the remaining mail into two folders – Important (e.g. bills) and Misc. (e.g. letters and magazines). Get into a regular schedule of dealing with the items in the folders so that letters don’t go unanswered or bills don’t go unpaid.
Spend 15 minutes every day dealing with clutter. Set a timer and work quickly to deal with as much as you can. The idea behind this is that motivating yourself for 15 minutes is a lot easier than trying to motivate yourself to spend a whole afternoon cleaning up. Plus, doing a little tidying each day allows you to keep on top of clutter and deal with it before it has days to pile up.
Stop buying things! Before making a purchase, ask yourself – do I really need this? In most cases (especially with all those impulse buys we are guilty of) the answer will be NO or if you do give in to temptation like you buy a new pair of shoe or shirt go back to your wardrobe and give out an old shirt or shoe away depending on what you bought even books etc. Learn to just walk away – and stop clutter at its very source!
Dealing with digital hoarding: When we clutter our social network with social connections …..Ask yourself why you use social media tools and if your connections add value to the time you spend on them. If they do not, it’s time to unfriend, ‘unfollow’ and ‘unconnect’ it is important to realize that our digital friends and followers are simply digital connections, nothing more. Our emails also need a good clear out to achieve “zero inbox” instead of your inbox (es) managing you, try and manage your inbox
Dealing with spiritual clutter: let go of the past let go of relationships/friendships that add no value to your life anymore, change the people around you some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them. They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny. The bottom line is that when you have to start compromising your happiness and your potential for the people around you, it’s time to change the people around you. It’s time to join local meet-ups, attend conferences, network online, and find a more supportive tribe. Let go of the old and make way for the new Focus on today.
So going forward, try to deal with clutter on a regular basis, getting rid of old shopping bags, used batteries, old mobile phones and ugly gifts right away. Donate a bunch of unwanted stuff every month, or even every week. And keep your house from overflowing: Every time you buy a new item, get rid of one old one!