Let’s start off with some funny stories about the reasons clutter builds in the first place. We tend to get too serious about things and need some good old-fashioned humor. This excerpt comes from Oprah.com
These people obviously needed this post about the 5 reasons clutter builds. Except for David Beckham…
You can take it with you…
Worried about leaving unwanted furniture after you die? Fear not: Maine-based company Last Things creates bookcases that—when the time comes—double as coffins.
Last August the body of Billie Jean James was found buried under mountains of junk in her Las Vegas home, four months after she’d gone missing. This despite the early deployment of search dogs—and the fact that her husband still lived in the house.
A Netherlands-based architecture firm is proposing a habitable, floating recycled island built from plastics caught in the Pacific trash vortex—an accumulation of debris currently estimated to be the size of Texas. Much of the trash has been broken down to microscopic size by photodegradation, while larger material regularly ensnares about 100,000 marine animals a year. The designers believe their massive habitat could not only help clean the ocean but house some of the estimated 200 million “climate refugees” who may be displaced by changing weather patterns in the coming decades.
Hoarders in History
Last year a stash of 52,000 coins was discovered in Somerset, England, some stamped with the face of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, a third-century A.D. Roman military leader. Turns out burying your family’s valuables—never to retrieve them—might once have had religious significance.
Bacon Was a Pig
If you think your workspace is messy, you should see the late British painter Francis Bacon’s studio in London. Bacon, whose Triptych 1976 sold for $86 million in 2008, could not work in tidy spaces. Old photos show every floor and table surface drowning in a sea of debris—papers, paintbrushes, wood, clothing, Champagne boxes, and more—leaving little room to even stand. After his death, the scene was lovingly dismantled and reconstructed in a museum in Dublin (where it took three years to re-create the mess).
One way to forcefully de-clutter is to move into a home the size of a parking space. The Small House Movement—which has been featured on the Oprah show—is thriving, according to Kent Griswold, author of tinyhouseblog.com. Griswold recommends Tumbleweed Tiny House company, whose models range from 65 to 840 square feet and cost less than $20,000. “I’ve traveled from Canada to Mexico with my small homes,” writes Griswold. “Can you do that with your current home?”
Organize it Like Beckham
One celebrity whose organizational skills are praised consistently—by no less an authority than his wife—is soccer star David Beckham. Victoria Beckham has revealed that Becks color-codes the contents of the fridge, vacuums the carpet in straight lines and gets upset when anyone walks on it, and has a separate bathroom because he can’t stand her clutter.
These are the top five reasons
(And what to do about it)
You Compare Your Clutter with Other People’s Clutter
You may see other people’s clutter and compare it to yours. Your clutter may not be so bad. But just because your best friend’s house is filled with stuff doesn’t mean your home has to be that way, too. Everyone has reasons individual reasons for clutter, but it’s up to you to figure out what motivates you to stay disorganized.
You Buy Things You Don’t Need
This is one of the number one reasons clutter builds. If you love to score items with bargain-basement prices, or you have plans to take up hobbies that require purchasing tools and equipment, you may be unintentionally cluttering up your home. Your free item may be tossed aside unused. Or you may abandon that hobby after the first class or lesson. Two thought patterns can help you curb this problem:
- If you don’t have an immediate idea of how to use a sale item or who to give it to as a gift, then don’t take it home.
- If you want to learn a skill or hobby, buy the bare minimum, or rent the items while sticking with the activity for a few months before purchasing more tools and equipment.
You’re Unsure What’s Clutter and What’s Not
Sometimes there’s a fine line between what makes clutter and what is not clutter, and what the reasons clutter builds around us. Something may be valuable but not especially useful. Or you’re worried you might need the item you’re about to toss or donate. Determine and abide by your own definition of clutter. Here are pointers to help you define what clutter is to you:
- Do you find the item useful right now?
- Do you find the item beautiful to look at?
- Are you willing to repair it right now if it’s broken?
- Will I feel guilty tossing or donating an item and why?
- Is this an item that simply needs to be safely stored?
You Need Storage Strategies
Storing items can be overwhelming and is another important reason clutter builds around us. You might not have enough room or the right storage containers to properly contain assorted items. When left alone, those items can turn into clutter by default and creating tripping hazards at the same time. Learning the tips and tricks on how to store things properly helps the decluttering process.
You’re Unsure What Items Helps Control Clutter
Clutter busters are the small tools you use to fight the reasons clutter builds around us. Trays, bins, baskets, jars, and hooks are all excellent tweaks to corral everyday clutter. Use these containers to group like items together so they’re easy to find. For example, gather strewn mail in one tray, easily displaced remotes in another basket, and messy toiletries in a tray.
BONUS: Two more points to consider. One, we tend to not know when to discard certain things. Here is an article about solving that. It can be a huge help clearing substantial amounts of clutter at once. Two, we assign strong sentimental emotions to too many things. It’s fine to have a few precious sentimental items that you hold dear and don’t want to part with. Yet storing large quantities of sentimental things weighs us down. Set aside an hour each week and go through them. Sort by most important to give or pass down to family member.
Spring Cleaning is around the corner. All subscribers receive complimentary 30-Day Spring-Cleaning Checklists in March. We all tackle one simple declutter/cleaning task each day and by the end, the house is tidy, fresh, and ready for spring. Shop some of my favorite spring-cleaning supplies that both my clients and I use.
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