Kill The Clutter Bug: 5 Baby Steps to Regain Control Over Your Messy Home

HeadcaheA while back, I read a book about the spirituality of space clearing. The author’s major point is that we often buy and hoard, consume and hold, and keep and store things because we are stagnant and unhappy with our lives. We use things to distract us from doing the labor of reflection and inner cleansing. The accumulation of things is also an indication of an attachment to the past or fear of the future.

Even if you don’t think your reason for a cluttered home is that deep, you still know that a messy home can throw you completely off in terms of comfort and productivity, whether married or single.

For me, I know too much clutter is actually very distracting and depressing. It makes me anxious and I know that I cannot think clearly or create when there is too much stuff(i.e. clothes, shoes, electronics, paper) around me.

Getting rid of clutter is easier said than done, though, especially when your emotions get in a tizzy when you see the messy desk, bedroom, or living room and all you want to do is avoid the issue. The best thing to do is be calm and start small. Try these baby steps to bring order and peace of mind back to your home:

Baby Steps

1. Set a date for one room at a time. Cleaning a small cluttered area first will give a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to continue.

2. Set the mood. If you want a quiet reflective session or a loud, high-energy session, choose the appropriate music, timing and clothing and get to cleaning (sometimes I like to clean with lipstick on.)

3. Get that friend or family member that has no problem telling you the truth about the difference between wants vs. needs If your clutter is due to too much shopping, you probably have trouble saying “no” to salespeople and your impulses. To downsize in a real way, you are going to need a steady, strong hand to guide you through the de-cluttering process.

4. Create four basic piles: charity, garbage, keeping, and yard sale. This diminishes the sense of being wasteful. Not only will others benefit from your good will, you may be able to recoup some of your financial losses as well.

5. After all of the clutter is gone, it’s time to reflect. Once your home is clear, it is important to reflect on the following;

  1. How did the house, home office, or bedroom get so cluttered in the first place?” to ensure that it does not get out of control again. That is, are you buying impulsively and unnecessarily
  2. Have you scheduled specific chores for specific dates and honored those expectations
  3. Would a housekeeper be a sound investment for your peace of mind?
  4. If you are married, are you the only person responsible for cleaning?

Frugalistas: How are you handling your clutter?

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