How to Get Rid of Clutter - It's a fun wrecker!
Unless you are one of those super organized types, you probably have clutter in your home as well. It fills the drawers, closets, cabinets, attics and garages and generally makes you a miserable and sometimes pretty depressed or bitchy (at least in my case anyway).
So then, what is the definition of clutter?
The Dictionary defines Clutter as:
1. A confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble: sorted through the clutter in the attic. 2. A confused noise; a clatter.
v. clut·tered, clut·ter·ing, clut·ters
1. To fill or spread over in a disorderly manner: Boxes cluttered the garage.
2. To make disorderly or hard to use by filling or covering with objects: I cluttered up my desk with old memos.
I find clutter mentally suffocating. My clutter is mostly items that I bought many years ago and loved at the time but do not bring me value or joy anymore. They cause me stress and take up physical space in my home.
My husband and I are not hoarders or anything (yeah - that's what they all say) but my attic is full of junk that I rarely, if ever, use. My stuffed closets are full of clothing and bedding. I might use a third of it. Most of it moved with me from my former home during a stressful time after a divorce. I just wasn't ready to deal with the decisions of what to give, toss or keep. Add to the stress of that time, that my present lovely home was a major fixer upper. I didn't unpack a lot when I moved in because of the house projects. Once a room was done, I would go to the attic, open boxes and find some items for that specific room. Then I would shop more to decorate the room while never fully unpacking the attic boxes! You can probably see where I am going and can picture the mess of half unpacked boxes all over my attic right now. The once organized piles of boxes are a mess and who knows what's in them anymore!!
Like most of you, I don't live alone and my sweet husband brings his share of clutter. He loves his electronic gadgets and holds on to the original boxes (just in case he wants to EBay later!), keeps cords, cables, wires, etc... He also likes bags, clothing and loves shoes! He seems to hate to give up his old bags, clothing and shoes. We both need work in the clutter area... no one is innocent here. LOL.
So that's my history of excuses... It is EIGHT YEARS later and I still have the same clutter literally hanging over my head in the attic. It's not a good feeling... Actually feels a lot like failure but I won't give up! I've had enough of this clutter. It's bringing my spirits down and I need to get it out of the house.
I have made some minor progress. It is mostly thanks to getting older, wiser and deciding to be a "grown up" (boring but necessary at some point). I got tired of worrying if the house was good enough for people to visit. My work schedule was busy and I had a very long commute. I also have a side business and a lot of family responsibilities. I hired a cleaning person to come in once a week to help. Honestly, it really wasn't helping. I was using the cleaning person as an excuse not to do anything around the house and it was just getting worse. Cleaning people don't do intensive cleaning (unless you hire them specifically for that). They dust tables, vacuum and lightly mop and clean the bathrooms and clean some mirrors. The rest still has to be done. Cobwebs form and dust bunnies set up house under dressers, beds and sofas. The insides of drawers and cabinets need to be organized and cleaned and the outsides wiped down. Anyway, there is a lot to do to keep up a house and it can seem overwhelming if you don't have a plan of attack.
These are some of the first steps I have used to clean out clutter and get my house to a place where I can enjoy it more. It's a work in progress so I'll be updating you as I try various methods.
About a year ago I found Marla Cilley aka "The FlyLady." It seems that her book "Sink Reflections" came to me at the perfect time in my life when I was mature enough for it to make a difference. I have read several books on cleaning and organizing but this one has really stuck with me. I'm not using all her methods yet but the daily routines have been a godsend and have changed the way I feel about my home. You will hear me mention "FlyLady" from time to time on this blog and now you know who I am talking about.