Clutter is informing you that something needs to change.
Clutter is a clear sign something is not working; clutter would not pile up if everything was working as it should.
So what exactly isn’t working and what can you do about it?
1. Change the home, or lack of a home.
The issue might be as simple as the item doesn’t have a designated home. Sometimes stuff is left out just because it has nowhere to go. Look at the item in that is sitting out and ask yourself, ‘where does this go?’ if you don’t have an answer then you need to find it a home- right now. You can always change where you store it, so pick a place and give it a try.
2. Change your habits.
Maybe the item has a home but you’re just not in the habit of putting it away when you are through using it. A common problem is leaving an item out because you plan to come back to finish using it later. Don’t wait until later, put it away where it belongs now and you’ll be able to find it again whenever you need it.
3. Change the storage spot.
You may have a place to put the item, but if the storage spot is inconvenient chances are you won’t make the effort to put it away. This is about being busy and having a lot on your plate already that running a single piece of paper to your home office on the second floor of your home just isn’t a priority. Create the storage spot or at least the “holding” place where the item naturally lands so you won’t end up with a pile of stuff to move.
4. Change your expectations.
So you dream of a perfectly organized home? Do you wish for a closet with everything color coded and folded with precision? Would you love a completely clear table top? These images, although lovely, are more reminiscent of a model house that no one lives in. Your house is a home; a home where people enjoy life and life comes with stuff. The key is to manage the stuff and adjust your expectations.
5. Change your focus.
Sometimes it is easier to simply ignore the cluttered closets and piles of paperwork. Sometimes you put your focus on other people’s needs first and your need to de-clutter takes a back seat. And sometimes the stuff becomes part of the landscape of your home and is hardly noticeable unless you really look. When you change your focus your life can change. Decide to make clearing out unused, unwanted items your main focus over the next week. Take it one week at a time until you get the desired results. If you like this once-a-week method check out my Once-a-Week De-cluttering Calendar.