Win the War on Clutter!
Peter Walsh, organization expert and author of Its All Too Much, offers his tips for clearing your home of junk for the long haul
1. Commit to ChangeClearing out the clutter in your life wont happen overnight. Be prepared to spend some time making over your environment.
2. Put Down Those Car Keys!Walshs approach to clutter doesnt begin with a trip to The Container Store. Its not about color-coding the shelves or buying the best containers, says Walsh. If you start there, you start with the stuff.
Instead of focusing on getting new things, Walsh says you need to focus on yourself. Getting rid of clutter is really about changing your attitude toward the stuff that is already in your home.
3. Reframe What Youre DoingInstead of thinking about what you are going to get rid of, think about what you truly want to keep around you. For a home to feel really comfortable, it should only contain objects that you and your family really need, treasure and use.
4. Do a Room-by-Room AnalysisGo through each room and ask yourself if the belongings are things that help you lead the life you want to live. Do the objects in your bedroom help make it a place of rest and retreat? Do the objects in the kitchen help you prepare meals? If the answer is no, they dont belong in that room.
5. Understand Your ClutterAccording to Walsh, there are two kinds of clutter: I might need it one day clutter and memory clutter. I might need it one day clutter refers to things like all the skinny clothes in your closet that you havent been able to fit into in five years.
Memory clutter consists of objects we hold on to because they are attached to a particular memory we cherish: boxes of childrens artwork or souvenirs from a long-ago vacation. I might need it one day clutter keeps you in the future; memory clutter keeps you in the past. Both are preventing you from living in the present.
6. Get a Price CheckA common excuse for keeping an item is that its worth a lot of money. In his book, Walsh recommends giving yourself a reality check courtesy of eBay. Go online and look up your valuable item say, a figurine that you inherited from your grandmother.
Often we think our belongings are worth more than they really are. If you discover that your valuable possessions wouldnt sell for more than a few bucks on eBay, it may make it easier to part with them.
7. Know Your LimitsIf you go through all these steps and still find yourself thinking that you just dont have enough space, listen to Walshs space mantra: You only have the space you have. You need to be realistic about your space limitations and make choices about what to toss and what to keep based on the physical limits of your home. As Walsh says, The amount of space you have cannot be changed the amount of stuff you have can.
Peter Walshs F.A.S.T. Plan for Clutter
Fix a time to de-clutter
Anything not used for 12 months if it hasnt been used in a year, get rid of it
Someone elses stuff if it doesnt belong to you, it has to go
Trash unusable items and garbage definitely should be tossed