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How to Deal Effectively With Clutter

March 6, 2020
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Many people, including myself have trouble letting go of things we no longer need, use, or will never use again simply because there may be sentimental value to it. And it can be extremely hard to let go of an item or items because of this sentimental value we have placed on it.

After my mother passed away in 2011, My brother and I discovered just how much stuff she kept. The question became what were we going to do with it all. In 2014, there was three and a half feet of water in the basement. I lost about 80 percent of the things mom kept. I won't lie. The thought of all those memories going to the landfill or being burnt was almost unbearable at the time, but, I have discovered six years later, I'm not even sure what all was lost. If you don't know what was there, you really can't miss it.

I decided I was not going to leave as much for my son to deal with when I'm gone. I have discovered it is easier said than done.

Everything should have a place it belongs. If you have trouble deciding where something belongs maybe it is clutter and needs to go.

When dealing with clutter a person needs to be proactive and not reactive. Instead of waiting to let clutter build up or until everything is a mess, you are always taking constant steps toward decluttering your space.

No matter how much you have to declutter, you want to be as efficient as possible when dealing with it. You want to feel in control as much as possible. Let's face it, when you have to declutter, then the clutter has been in control of you.

Here are a few tips I found most helpful when I started decluttering:

1. Start with one area. When you first start decluttering, it will not be pleasant, in fact it may be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety in the beginning. This is why it is important to start with a small area.

2. Give yourself a timeline. Set an attainable due date when you want to be finished.

3. Plan time. You may find that the shorter the amount of time you spend the more you get done. Set a timer if needed.

4. Make sure to have the four boxes you will need ready and waiting (Donate, Sell, Toss, and Repurpose). Try making the effort to empty the boxes every time you declutter. I have found that when I see objects in the boxes that I am planning to get rid of, the more I want to keep them. This is how I got into the cluttered space situation to begin with. I just couldnt get rid of anything.

Good luck to you and remember it may take several tries before you can really declutter with ease. But it does get easier.



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