Everyone has some degree of clutter lurking at home. When you're tired of moving it around, stepping over it, and losing important items in it, it's time to take control of the clutter. What should you do with it? You have seven options:
- Dispose of it. Much of clutter is trash you either thought you would need or figured you'd throw out later.
- Put it away. About half of the remaining clutter in most homes consists of items that simply haven't been put away. Fill a laundry basket then deliver the items to the proper rooms. Avoid this trap by making things easy to put away and by enforcing a family "use it and put it away" rule.
- Donate it. If you don't use it, it's not a treasured decorative item or memento, and it's not an important piece of paper, get rid of it. Pass it along to someone who can use it.
- Refer it. The novel you've been saving for Debbie, the recipe you copied for Aunt Jan and the glove borrowed from Mom need to be sent or delivered to their rightful owners. Gather them and make your rounds tomorrow.
- File it. Set up a "hold" file for wedding invitations and concert tickets (after you note them in your calendar). Set up a "to file" file for all important papers.
- Fix it or have it repaired today. Those buttons aren't going to sew themselves. Either mend them or take them to a seamstress. The same goes for the broken toys and watches.
- Give it a home. Everything else is something that belongs in your home but you don't know what to do with it. Where DO you put extra batteries and your kids' artwork? Designate a permanent place in your home for each group of items you find in a clutter pile. Simplify by making a list of items and where they belong.
Barbara Myers is a speaker, author and organizing consultant. Enjoy a free time management tips booklet and lots of tips to get organized at http://www.ineedmoretime.com.