Think Well

Never “Clean Up” Again

By Katryna Starks

Cleaning up clutter is time-consuming and stressful. For every item you pick up, you have to make several decisions. Here or there? Keep or toss? Those decisions can be overwhelming and mentally taxing. And, depending on how much clutter you have, you might have to make hundreds of those decisions at once. No wonder you dread it!

But here’s a simple solution: find a home. Not for you, for each of your items. Not a vague “around here” spot, but a specific place that each item goes when not in use. This still leaves you with a lot of decisions to make, but you will only make them once. Every time after that, you use the item and then place it back in its proper home. You don’t have to re-decide where that home is. You already made that decision.

But what about new things? Find a home for them, too – before you buy them. For every item you want, think about your house and where it will go when it’s just being stored and not in use. If you can’t think of a home for the item, it’s possible that it’s just an impulse buy and its home, for now, is in the store. If it is an item you really need, then perhaps there are other items that you already have that can be donated to make room for the new item. You can always leave the item in the store and then go home and plan your purchase by deciding what it will displace. Think of each new item like a new child or a pet – you have to have a place for it to go before you bring it home. That will keep your home, and your mind, clutter free.