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BellaOnline's Living Simply Editor

What is Clutter?

Clutter is when we have too much in too small a place. It is a crowded and untidy collection of things, which donít bring you joy, that you donít love or need.

Clutter can be anywhere, mostly it is visible, but sometimes we hide it in our closets. We can have cluttered cars and even cluttered days. It is something that we donít want and donít need and the only solution is to get rid of it, let it leave the house. Clutter in the house is similar to weeds in the garden, it gradually grows until you suddenly realize that itís taking over.

With too much clutter we canít find things, and so we buy extra, thus adding to the current situation of mess. Itís hard to think clearly when surrounded by a house full of clutter.

Where do I start?
Flat surfaces gain clutter. We put something on a flat surface, thinking itís temporary, but it stays there. Suddenly itís surrounded by other things we think are temporary and so we have a clutter spot. Without even trying, more and more places become spots of clutter and soon the whole house is cluttered.

What do we do about it?
Have a time, preferably at the same time every day, when you attack your clutter. Reduce your clutter for 15 or 30 minutes a day. For some it will be first thing in the morning or last thing at night. For me itís 4pm and just before I make dinner. If you do this every day for a month, you and your family will notice a difference.

How do we deal with it?
You will need 3 boxes labeled, ďGive Away", "Throw Away", and "Put Away". When your 15 or 30 minutes are over, put your ďThrow AwayĒ box in the garbage bin, put your ďGive AwayĒ box in your car for the next time you are near a thrift store and go round the house with your ďPut AwayĒ box and put things in their right places. Donít leave the boxes lying around and add to the clutter.

Dealing with a small area each day is easier than attempting a large project. Ask yourself if you really want to keep it, if you love it and if you use it. If you donít use it and donít want it, let it leave the house. Donít ask yourself what you want to get rid of, ask yourself what you want to keep. If you have too many of one thing, get rid of the excess.

The Blessings of Less
With less stuff you wonít lose things so often, youíll be able to find lost things and you wonít have much to tidy away. When you start, other family members will often join in. Eventually you will be able to invite your friends over without crisis cleaning.

How do I get rid of stuff?
Firstly, is it worth selling? Can you get someone to sell it for you on consignment? You could donate it, or give it to friends, give it to a thrift store or Freecycle it. Make getting rid of things a habit. Have a place where you put things you donít want, such as box in the garage. Donít stop. Keep decluttering, you wonít regret it. The advantage? Peace in your home.

Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure--And Save the Planet While You're at It

If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Get Rid of This Clutter?: Tools to Get it Done! (Volume 1)

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