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
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.