C Is For Clutter Control

in Clutter

"It's not about the daily increase, but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." ~Bruce Lee


As a verb: To fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner.

As a noun: A disorderly heap or assemblage; a state or condition of confusion.


As a verb: To exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command; to hold in check or curb.

As a noun: A restraint; the prevention of the flourishing or spreading of something undesirable.

Housecleaning expert, Don Aslett, declared his idea about clutter control in his book "Clutter's Last Stand." He wrote, "One day I had the sudden realization: If I stopped buying things right this moment, there is no way I could ever use all I have now."

What an interesting clutter control concept - stop buying!

Henry David Thoreau defined clutter when he said he would rather toss an object that was in his way than continually move it around just to dust. He knew what he wanted to do with his time-wander the woods, write books and philosophize about life.

You can control clutter only when you have less of it. Unfortunately, many people find it easier to be buried in clutter than figure out a way to eliminate it. Panic sets in when they look at all that has accumulated and wonder where to begin to clear the space. The immediate reaction is to run away, and that is what people do. They run off to work, to the mall or to volunteer positions. They head out the door for dinner and other "feel-good" entertainment. They use the excuse of busyness to run away from household clutter and the chaos in their lives.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am in favor of fun, wholesome activities, but when they become an outlet to get away from clutter, then it is simply an act of avoidance.

The first and most difficult step of clutter control is to acknowledge that it is a problem. Recognizing the fact that you are held in bondage to your possessions will precipitate action to do something about it. Look around! Is the floor space open, safe and easily navigable? What about flat surfaces? Are they available for use or totally useless? Open a closet door and see what comes tumbling out. Are you in the habit of ducking for fear of getting bonked on the head? Pull out a drawer and visualize finding what you want. Take a peak in the attic, basement and garage. Are you amazed that clutter accumulates faster than a litter of rabbits?

To take back control, hack away at the unessential stuff that has accumulated over the years. Designate a week or a month to work in one room. Schedule an appointment with yourself and block off sufficient time on your day-planner to declutter one area or zone. Each day set aside 15 minutes to focus on one spot (one corner, one drawer, one shelf, or one closet) to eliminate those things that are broken, unloved, no longer useful, and do not add joy to your life. You can regain control and eliminate the clutter one-small-step-at-a-time.

Unessential: Not necessary, unimportant, dispensable, irrelevant, needless, worthless...

Try it. You have nothing to lose and a lot of breathing space to gain.

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Judith Kirk has 1 articles online

Clutter can entangle you in chaos and confusion and plunge you into depression. Clutter has a negative effect on all aspects of your life - physical, mental and emotional. It traps you into living in the past and fearful of the future. Take the steps to eliminate clutter and rejoice in your peaceful surroundings. With the help of Judith Ann Kirk, you will learn to eliminate stressful clutter and find joy in your surroundings. Subscribe to the monthly organizational tips and techniques newsletter at http://www.OrganizingResources.com

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C Is For Clutter Control

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This article was published on 2010/04/03