It’s January, and storage bins, clear sweater boxes, and shoes caddies are all on sale in your various discount stores. Maybe you consider cleaning out the clutter, and getting organized, but it all seems so overwhelming. Ever watch Hoarders? Often hoarders comment that the clutter crowding their house brings them comfort, security, and even a feeling of excitement. Unfortunately, it does just the opposite to everyone else.
1. The Dangers of Clutter- unsteady towers of books, papers, and even dirty clothes, endanger the inhabitants. This is especially hazardous for toddlers, elderly, and pets. Tripping over an item or stepping on them in the dark is another issue. Bacteria, mold, and mildew build up in cluttered homes causing infections, illnesses, and slows wound healing wounds. Debris everywhere allows rodents and insects to move with little effort, or notice.
2. The Mental Impact of Clutter-Ever cleaned out a closet and felt wonderful? It’s not surprising because clutter equals stress. Ironically, a cluttered home sometimes prevents you from keeping your focus on organizing. You may need to enlist help to clean. It also makes it difficult for ADHD students to study. Messiness also exacerbates mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
3. Feng Shui- the philosophy that your home is composed of various energy fields, and clutter blocks these fields often resulting and illness, and bad fortune.
4. Clutter is expensive-after the holidays, I decided to clean out the pantry and found several cans of tuna, and boxes of spaghetti. I kept rebuying items I already had. Clutter results in sloppy record keeping that results in missed bills, late fees, and refunds never sent in.
5. Clutter hurts your social life too. Do you really want to entertain in a dirty home? You can, and you might, but you also might not like the impression you make by doing so.
It’s time to get cleaning, but you don’t need pretty color boxes, but willpower and resolve are essentials.
IN YOUR BEDROOM CLOSET
Most women have three wardrobes, which include their skinny, average, and fat wardrobe. If you haven’t worn an item in six months you won’t. Keeping the tiny cocktail dress or skinny jeans will only depress you. If you do lose the weight, you have a reason to buy new clothes.
*Clothing that requires too much maintenance should go too since they will seldom be worn.
*Toss torn, stained clothing that you’ve be meaning to repair.
*Make a Goodwill bag for items still in good repair.
*Make sure to discard shoes you don’t wear. Once a year does not constitute actual use.
*At most, you only need two sets of dishes.
*Packing up your discarded items and putting them in the attic is not a solution.
IN THE PANTRY
*It is expensive when food goes bad before you can use it. To prevent this you need to rotate your groceries, even labeling cans if needed.
*Base your weekly menus on food you have on hand first.
* Combine supplies, such as: flour, cocoa, spices, etc.
*Dump expired items
* Do you have eight mixing bowls, five spatulas, etc.? Cut down your roster of tools to the newest ones, plus a spare.
*Got any dust catchers in the kitchen, such as baskets, dried flowers, spice racks, salt and pepper shakers? They will need to be cleaned and stored in a non-visible spot, or moved on to another home.
*Check your linens. Do you even have the table that fits the tablecloth? Do you want to keep stained napkins, single placemats or dated tablecloths?
*Organize your files in alphabetical order, then, put them in a filing cabinet.
*Keep your desktop clean
THE REST OF THE HOUSE
*If you have children, do not feel the need to hold onto every toy, clothing or book they may have used. (Trust me. They have no desire to move with them as adults.)
*Clean out your bookshelves.
*Change out family photos, instead, of overloading the side table with even more.
*Get rid of dusty floral arrangements hanging on the wall. Nothing dates a home more.
*Silk trees and plants can benefit from a shower to knock off the dust.
*Clear figurines, art projects off side tables, counters, etc. Allow one item per surface to avoid the yard sale effect.
*The garage is for cars, not outgrown bikes, broken lawnmowers, or leftovers from your last sale. Many items can be useful to DAV who will pick them up, and give you a charitable receipt.
* The walls, even ceiling of your garage is useful for storage.
Now that your house is clutter-free, you will be surprised how much emotionally lighter you feel. Clutter really can hold you down.