6 Steps to Reduce Clutter



By: Becky Esker, President, Get Organized! LLC

 Sadly many lives are overrun and overwhelmed with too much stuff. While this is not a surprise to many people, how to do something about 'the stuff' is a struggle. To get you started, I have outlined six simple steps to get you going.

 1) Identify what you have and how much.  You can not just toss something out because you have the relentless fear of throwing out something valuable or important. Therefore, you must sort your like items together into different piles. This process will allow you to determine exactly what you have and how much of each you have.  

2) Decide what and how much you really need. Now that you have completed step #1, you are ready to make an informed decision about narrowing down your keepers.  For example, if you discover you have nine steak knife sets and you never entertain, letting go of seven sets is pretty easy. This is where you choose your favorites and let go of the inferior quality items.

3) Step outside your body. Mentally pretend to be someone else helping you go through your stuff. It may seem a bit wacky, but talk to yourself out loud about reasons for keeping things. Often times you can justify things in your mind, but if speaking them out loud is not convincing to yourself, then it probably means you are hanging onto clutter. Do not hesitate to be ruthless with yourself.

 4) Become a more discriminating shopper. Avoid impulse buying. If you find something you think you have to have, apply the 24 hour rule. Wait 24 hours and if you still think you need it, go buy it. Chances are you will not feel the need for it after the waiting period.   

5) Declare your home at maximum capacity. I declared our home had reached maximum capacity a few years ago. If we continued to add more stuff to our household, I was quite sure I was going to go over the edge.  To insure our capacity does not increase, we utilize the in-out rule. This means before something new can come in, something current must go out. Like all rules, stand behind them 100% strong or they won't work.

6) Toss it in a dated box. An easy test to see if you really need something it to toss it in a box with a destroy date, like 6 or 9 months out. Make a deal with yourself. If you have not used anything in the box by the destroy date, dump the box without looking in it. With the passage of time it's unlikely you will miss it.


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Becky Esker is a Certified Professional Organizer, owner of Get Organized! LLC, speaker and the forthcoming author of "2 Minutes to Organization: The Simplest Way to Get Organized."

Ms. Esker is available for local, regional, and national professional speaking engagements, seminars, retreats, and trainings. She is an experienced, energetic, and dynamic nationwide speaker. As a certified professional organizer and entrepreneur, Ms. Esker possesses specialized expertise in Chronic Disorganization, Basic ADD Issues with the CD Client, and Business Productivity Management. As an author and instructor, Ms.Esker is uniquely suited to create custom tailored results-driven presentations that engage and inform the audience while addressing today's hot topics in the business, corporate, personal, and residential organizing arena.  She is a regular contributor to The Edge Business Magazine and City Revealed.




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