Have you ever wondered what contributes to your clutter problem? If you have an issue with clutter, you may have wondered why, at times. Let’s dive in and tackle that issue and then learn how to declutter and reclaim your space.
Today, we will look at the habits that keep us buying more and getting rid of less. Let’s get started!
Today, I’ll give you some excellent insight from the book, Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight, by Peter Walsh. Follow this link to get the audio book for free.
What can we learn from Peter Walsh, an expert organizer? Let’s find out.
What Contributes to Your Clutter Problem?
“Throughout this book, I’ve discussed the three issues that contribute to a clutter problem:
1. An excessive urge to get more stuff. Our society encourages us to seek fulfillment from our material possessions. The ads we see, the stores we visit, and many of the cultural rituals we share teach us to cope with our worries and celebrate our happy moments by buying stuff.
Since you see people every day who are so pleased to be buying cars, furniture, appliances, dishes, and toys, it seemed perfectly normal to have a fondness for possessions. Similarly, accumulating more stuff over time also seemed like a normal way to show how well you’re living: An expanding pile of belongings was like the line in a thermometer climbing upward, providing a measurement of greater comfort and abundance.”
“On the other hand, many people celebrate thriftiness as a virtue. So you may have gotten a “thrill when you found decorative baskets for 30 percent off; kitchenware at a low, low price during a closeout sale; or a mountain of hand-me-down kids’ clothes for free. But what you didn’t realize was that you didn’t even need this stuff in the first place.
The businesses in your community, the retailers selling through the catalogs in your mailbox, and the merchants around the world whom you can find with a computer click offer a vast, deep sea of items you can buy. In comparison, the space in your home is tiny! It’s very easy to bring in more treasures from the outside world than your home can hold. Even if you carry just a little more into your home than you take out, eventually you’re going to have a problem.”
What Contributes to Your Clutter Problem?
“2. Reluctance to throw stuff out. If you were too emotionally attached to throw away, give away, or sell possessions you didn’t really need, I completely understand how you would develop these feelings.
Again, we grew up in a society that puts a value on possessions. The messages we all receive throughout our waking hours is that owning stuff is good and that owning more stuff is better! Furthermore, society tells you that the stuff you own solves problems, provides happiness, and makes you more attractive to other people. Why get rid of something that could be useful someday?”
“In addition, our loved ones show that they care for us when they give us gifts. We also tend “to fasten memories to objects. You may have held on to many of your possessions because they felt like souvenirs of wonderful times you’ve shared with people you loved.
For the most part, no one encourages you to get rid of stuff, unless it’s broken, threadbare, or obsolete (like last year’s athletic shoes or tablet computers that have been replaced with newer, better versions). In general, people don’t understand why you would throw away something that could have sentimental value.
But just as an urge to buy stuff can cross over from being a socially acceptable value to a problem that interferes with your life, so can a desire to hang on to stuff. Most people I work with have overly cluttered homes for both reasons, to a varying degree.”
What Contributes to Your Clutter Problem?
“3. Lack of organization. This is the jumble of papers that should be neatly filed in a cabinet or the pile of knickknacks crammed onto a bookshelf. It’s the stuff that’s out of place, like the laundry basket of shoes in the corner or the jumbo box of crayons scattered under the coffee table.
When people simply own so much stuff that organizing it neatly requires great effort, it’s inevitable that clutter will creep in. Even if they have a large home, I don’t see the benefit in maintaining a bunch of stuff that they don’t need in the first place.”
“If you own things, you have to take care of them. You have to clean them, dust them, and store them. Constantly tidying a mountain of possessions you don’t really want or need is a major waste of your time, energy, and attention. Getting rid of the excess creates physical space around you, mental space in your head, and time in your schedule. I hope you’ve come to discover that for yourself.”
Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight
Now that we know what contributes to your clutter problem, let me share with you some of my best tips for Cleaning a Cluttered House. I want to help you learn the Step By Step process I created for How to Organize a Cluttered House. You’ll find my Declutter Calendar and tips for How to Start Cleaning When You Are Overwhelmed throughout this post and my Declutter Your Home Printable Checklist and my Thorough Cleaning Checklist at the end of this post.
You can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists like the one below to help you declutter every room in your home. You can find that printable checklist here.
Prefer video to reading? You can subscribe to the declutter video series via youtube by watching the video below and clicking subscribe on youtube.
Struggling with the daily housekeeping chores? Check out my ebook on this topic, entitled Make Over Your Homemaking. Use this link to get it at a discounted price.
How to Declutter
1. boxes -preferably ones you can donate (Avoid plastic storage bins because you may be tempted to just store the items and not part with them.)
2. sturdy trash bags
3. marker/pen to label boxes
Decluttering Tip: Avoid using storage bins to declutter. Storage bins tend to tell your brain to “store” the items for later. That is just delaying decisions. If you aren’t getting rid of items when you declutter, you are not truly decluttering. This is why I recommend a trash bag, also. A trash bag tells your brain to “trash” the item.
Obviously, recycle if you have that option. The boxes you use should be ones you are willing to part with, so I recommend sturdy cardboard boxes. As to donations, there are many charities that will come pick up your items for you at your home.
I use one in particular where you can book an appointment for pick-up online. This is so convenient, as it saves you the hassle of hauling stuff away yourself. Scheduling that pick-up also motivates you to declutter by a certain date.
As you are clearing away the clutter from your home, I want you to take notice of the common types of clutter you find lying about. Chances are, you have the same type of clutter you find yourself clearing daily.
For example, I have a kitchen countertop that daily becomes a clutter magnet. The types of clutter that appear here might be mail, packages to return to the store, projects that need to be completed, etc. If you will pay attention to the type of clutter you are clearing daily, it will show you what areas of your home need the most organization.
How to Declutter:
1. Start by eliminating trash first- use a sturdy trash bag
2. Sort items by category if needed so you can see what you have
3.Get rid of duplicate items, broken items, outgrown clothes and shoes, anything you’ll never use again
4. Box up the donations and trash/recycle the rest
5.Select a charity to donate your items and schedule the pick-up if that is an option
Need to deep clean after your declutter? I have a room specific cleaning checklist for you to guide you along.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Kids’ Rooms list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.
My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.
You can get your printable Daily Housekeeping Routine and Deep Cleaning Your House Schedule here. This 15 page printable kit is delivered digitally to your email for you to print and personalize. What Does a Deep Clean Include? It includes a daily schedule, calendar pages, and deep cleaning checklists for every room and area of your home. Below is a sample page of what you’ll get in my printable set designed to help you make a Housekeeping Schedule for Your Home.
I hope I have answered the question of What Contributes to Your Clutter Problem and how you can begin your home declutter. Let me know in the comments below.
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