In a previous blog, I used S.T.U.F.F. to help you examine how you feel about having a lot or a little. Your feelings guide you sometimes other times you procrastinate decluttering a room or your home and things keep piling up. Maybe you’re sentimental and think you are honouring your things by stuffing them in a box and hiding them away. Get them out and keep the best items and enjoy them. Let the other items make someone else happy. Are you a collector and keep adding to your collection? These are possible answers but think about how the decisions you make in everyday life can help you to have so much stuff.
I’ll change my weight.
So you decide you want to lose some weight but you’re not sure how successful you will be at keeping the weight off. Or maybe you are putting on a few pounds and your clothes are getting a little tight. The stuff in your closet starts to accumulate. Clothes that don’t fit now, clothes that used to fit, clothes that you might need in the future, a style that you used to wear, it might come back. Sound familiar. Now you have 2 or 3 or 4 wardrobes in different styles and sizes. What’s the solution?
Invest in the new you, you’re worth it.
Keeping clothes around from a weight you don’t want to be is setting yourself up for defeat. Donate clothing that doesn’t fit. Donate it before it becomes out of style, no one will want it and it ends up in the landfill. Buy small quantities of clothing that fit, you like, people compliment you when you wear them and are affordable. You are worth the investment. Remove the clothing that makes you feel discouraged and takes up valuable storage space.
I’ll buy in bulk to save money
For a lot of items we have been taught it is cheaper to buy in bulk. It may be true in some situations. If you have a large household, run a daycare, operate a cleaning industry. Usually buying in bulk costs you money. You need to buy more shelving or cupboards to hold everything. Your food supplies don’t get used before the best before date and you throw them out. Items get damaged, (broken light bulbs), you no longer need them because you changed appliances and fixtures, (filters for coffee, furnace or water), your tastes have changed ( vegetarian foods, green energy products or chemical free cleaning products ) and things you used to use are no longer needed. What’s the solution?
Buy in different quantities for different items
If you enjoy going to membership stores like Cosco, use your membership for buying things in bulk you use up quickly, toilet paper. Always check what you have at home and how much space you have to store things before you go shopping. Buy proportionately to how much you use an item and how quickly you use it. This rule works for food, clothing, cleaning supplies, kitchen gadgets, gifts, candles, books, cosmetics almost everything. You don’t want to be throwing your money in the garbage
I’ll get active
Great decision until the clutter happens. There is so much equipment you can buy to help you get active. Shoes, clothing, bikes, paddling, weights, bands, mats, balls bats/rackets, swimming gear. The list goes on. it piles up everywhere. Inside the home, the garage the vehicle. What’s the solution?
Establish good habits/routines
Things can get dropped all over the place. Decide on a place to hang wet items to dry or damp items to air out. Have a place for larger gear to be stored, a basket, container, bin or hang them on the wall. Have shelves for hats, helmets, shoes, sunscreen to be placed. Use hooks for clothes, hats, backpacks. Make it easy to put things away and label where things go so everyone knows. Donate items that you no longer use, have become too small or older models when you upgrade your gear.
I’ll make my home perfect
Everyone looks at the pictures in magazines, on Pinterest or on Facebook. Those are only a moment in the life of that person. You really need a video to see what normal will look like. Sometimes it feels like you will never get the clutter reduced, let alone under control. You give up and don’t try because it will never be perfect. The stuff continues to build up, more stuff comes into the home and nothing leaves the home. What’s the solution?
Set aside perfection and keep the clutter controlled as much as you can with the time, energy and budget you have. Set realistic goals. Take 15 minutes a day and tidy up one area. The next day work in another area. Even better have everyone, all together, take 15 minutes and tidy up one area each. Keep a donation box in a closet or mudroom and place items you don’t need in the box. Donate it and get another box. Have a goal to fill one box a week. Start with the area or project that bothers you the most. It will feel good to take care of it and not think about it anymore.
I’m going to start decorating for holidays
There are so many holidays you can decorate for. Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Earth Day, Canada Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Festival of Lights. Buying or making decorations produces piles of objects big and small, expensive and inexpensive to store. It takes time to put them up and sometimes they don’t get taken down and put away, they get dumped somewhere never to be in good enough shape to be used again. Next year comes and you see the new types of decorations on the market and your supply goes bigger. What’s the solution?
Pick and choose
You have limited time, space and energy to do decorating. Pick and choose when you will decorate a lot and when you will not decorate or put out only a tablecloth. Go through your decorations yearly before buying more. Donate items you don’t need anymore, only purchase a few new things if you need them. Look at how much space you have to store your decorations. Keep your decoration in waterproof bins and store them all together so you can find them each year. As your desire changes for decorating make it simpler and simpler each year so you continue to enjoy doing the decorating, looking at the decorations and cleaning up.
Making changes in your lifestyle can create clutter or it might reduce clutter. Make smart decisions for your lifestyle and manage the changes it causes in your time, energy, space and mindset so you can control the clutter and enjoy the new opportunities you have chosen.
Comment on some other life decisions that create clutter in your home
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.
Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.