- Declutter Proactively
- Recognize Clutter
- Create and Sustain Motivation to De-Clutter
- Clutter to Control
- The Process Principle - Restoring Order
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Clutter Control 101Preventing Clutter
Hate clutter? Nip it fast by asking whether you'll use an item? If so, when? And if it is to be kept, then where? Curb clutter by creating a process of asking yourself about your intentions for the item.
One of the best ways to prevent clutter, is to stop it before it starts. Here are three simple questions to ask yourself:
1) Am I going to use it?
Before you buy something, always ask yourself a) if you're going to use it, and b) if you're going to use it often enough to be worth the space it's going to take up in your home.
The pancake flipper would probably be worth it if you use it once a week, or once every two weeks. But, if you're only going to use it once every few months, it's probably not worth the extra money or the extra space it's going to take up in your kitchen cabinets.
The same goes for the glittery, lacy dress. Unless you spend a lot of time at dressy parties and events, opt instead for something you'll make more use of. Otherwise, it's just going to be taking up space in your clothes closet.
In addition, if you have well meaning friends or relatives who are constantly trying to pass things on to you that they no longer need, and that you don't need either, learn to politely say "Thanks, but no thanks."
2) Am I going to use it now, or in the near future?
However, beware of buying things with the reasoning, "I'm not sure when I'll use it, but I'll use it someday."
My friend, who never bakes, was planning to buy a spring form pan because I had one. Her reasoning was that if she had a spring form pan in her possession, that it might entice her to bake someday.
I told her that before she goes out and buys one, that I would loan her mine for a week. She could leave it on her countertop, and see if the inspiration hit her.
Needless to say, she returned the pan within a week and told me that she hadn't had the inspiration yet, so she would borrow it from me when she was ready to bake--that was three years ago.
In other words, she saved money by not buying that spring form pan. It would have been gathering dust for years.
3) Where is it going to go?
I also came across a neat looking basket that I was considering buying along with the candle holder. But when I asked myself, "Where is it going to go?", I could not come up with an area off the top of my head. In the end, I bought the candle holder, but did not buy the basket.
Make sure you have a clearly defined "home" for the item you're considering getting. Otherwise, it's bound to be brought home, put someplace temporarily, and eventually end up in a pile of other purchases that were not well thought out.