How Much Clutter Can You Handle?
It’s Hard To Keep a Home Clean when It’s Cluttered
Some people call it clutter, others may refer to it as stuff and technically it is everything that you think you need but really don’t need.
Here is my perspective on clutter – it is not necessarily how to organize your stuff, but, rather, figuring out how much stuff you can personally handle or need. The amount of stuff is different for everyone and may even change over the course of a person’s life. However, habits are habits and to take a hard look at all the stuff in your life/home is an important step to putting your house in order.
People love their stuff.
Imagine that your home was half the size it is now. Perhaps even think that you may move from where you are now to a home one-half the size it is now. Imagine packing up all the stuff you now have and moving it to this new smaller home. When you start to think about it in these terms you will be much more critical of what you have and what you should have.
People get use to their stuff.
When you walk through your home you often do not focus on the stuff or the clutter. You are use to it. You don’t see it. When other people come to your home it is often the very stuff that you don’t notice that they notice first. Your house could be clean but look cluttered, disorganized and messy. Actually, it is cluttered, it is disorganized and messy – you simply don’t notice it.
Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
In this book – which I highly recommend – there is a chapter called “Sharpen the Saw” in this chapter Covey explains the “Upward Spiral” model in the sharpening the saw section. Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement.
We can think about this when it comes to cleaning our home and keeping it clean. First, we need to think about what we need and what we don’t need. We need to think about how much we can handle. We need to take one small step after another to create the “Upward Spiral” movement that Covey refers to.
Here is a version of Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. Note that I have placed “Being Organized” in the important but not urgent quadrant. This is where it is located for most people. But the most effective people are organized. They do not let their lives or their home get filled up with “clutter”.
Set some time aside – as part of your schedule – to get better organized and become more effective.
- Look at every room in your home critically. Decide what you need (objectively) and what you don’t need. There may be items with sentimental value and you can make some exceptions. However, if you have a stack of magazines next to your favorite chair that you have not looked at in many years then this may be time for them to go.
- Do this room-by-room. This way the task will not seem monumental and you will be making steady progress. Schedule one room a day or perhaps one room each weekend but once you get going keep up the momentum.
- Reward yourself. Plan a nice dinner when you have completed a room. Go out to a movie. Take a nice drive. As you make progress, recognize this progress with a reward.
- Once two or three rooms have been uncluttered then invite us in to do a thorough and complete cleaning. You don’t have to do everything yourself. We can help get those – now decluttered rooms – to the next level. We have all the tools and all the right ingredients to do so. However, what we cannot do is declutter the room for you – this is up to you.
- For some tips on some approaches to declutter your home here is a blog post that provides some value – 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home
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