The problem with clutter is that it is truly a subjective word. Just as one man’s junk is another’s treasure, what you call clutter and what I call clutter might be vastly different. If you happen to be married and you and your spouse disagree about what exactly constitutes clutter, it can be challenging to create a home environment that makes you both feel comfortable and at peace with your surroundings.
Some people have a clutter problem but don’t realize they do. For instance, some people feel closed in or stressed when they enter a certain room but can’t quite put their finger on the underlying cause of their discomfort. Maybe you open your closet and feel like it’s a mess but are one of those people who feels that you must keep every item in there, simply because it’s there.
There are several creative ways to approach a clutter problem that can help you A) Acknowledge the fact that you indeed have a clutter problem and B) Minimize and simplify your belongings and your home environment so you and everyone around you feels at ease with the atmosphere.
As for closets, it’s one thing to hang on to that dress you love as an incentive to drop 10 pounds because you really hope to fit into again someday and quite another to have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a decade and likely never will again. You can declutter your closet by noting what items have not been worn in an entire rotation of seasons. If you’ve gone through summer, fall, winter and spring and have not touched a particular item, it’s fairly safe to say you can get rid of it, unless it is one of those things like the token black dress you keep in case you have a formal occasion.
Decluttering can also be a great way to give to others. One way to declutter your whole house at once is to set a carton aside and have each person add one item to it every day for an agreed upon amount of time, say three weeks or a month. At the end of the month, you can donate the carton to a local second-hand store or a charity of your choice.
To check if you and your spouse or kids are likeminded as to what is cluttering your house and what isn’t, you can ask each person to stroll through your home and write down items that he or she thinks are cluttering up the place. Anything that is on everyone’s list gets the boot.
A three-check system can come in handy if you’re want to declutter as well. The next time you clean your house, separate items you pick up in each room into three piles: Keep, toss or donate. If you’re keeping it, decide where it belongs and immediately take it there. If you’re donating, fill a box, label it and take it out to your car right away. If it’s in the discard pile, grab a trash bag and follow through!
Depending on your current state in life, your level of clutter may ebb and flow. For instance, if you recently had a baby, your house is likely to contain visible piles of baby items that were not there last year. This is known as temporary clutter and isn’t necessarily a problem, unless, of course, you twist an ankle tripping over the diaper bag that was left in the middle of the floor!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.