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Are you in clutter recovery?

by respaced on April 8, 2009

Whether you are clearing out the clutter in your home now or have already completed your decluttering, you may want to think about clutter recovery. Some professional organizers call this “maintenance.” It’s the behaviors and methods you develop to keep clutter from returning to your home after your have successfully decluttered. Most people will find extraneous stuff start creeping back into their house if they don’t make some changes in their lives. Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t use the mall as a hangout, escape, playdate or walking venue. It’s more than likely that you will stop to look in a few stores, making it extremely likely that you will buy something you don’t need.

2. Avoid garage sales. Yes, it’s a good deal. But you probably were getting along just fine without it.

3. Be very careful about using shopping as a form of recreation. I won’t tell you not to — I would never know about cool little stores like Flutter and SCRAP if I never perused the boutiques myself, but you have to be strict with yourself. Keep a predetermined amount of cash with you and never use a credit card. Ask yourself if you really need the object and most of all where will you put it? And if possible, have the storekeeper hold the object for you for 24 hours so you can think about it. That way, you can be sure you are not buying out of boredom, loneliness or anxiety.

4. When people ask you want for your birthday/Christmas/etc, tell them tickets to events or a gift certificate to a spa or a restaurant. Have the grandparents buy the kids memberships to the zoo or museum or Itunes giftcards. Anything that’s not an object.

5. Put everything in its place at least once a week. You can do a big tidy-up on Saturday or tidy up a little bit every night, but the goal is to make sure that every object has a home and that no piles are allowed to accumulate.

Keeping clutter at bay is an ongoing challenge for all of us living in a consumer-driven culture where shopping is considered a hobby instead of an errand! But by keeping your wallet in your pocket and making a commitment to regularly put everything away, you can be the one in control.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy April 10, 2009 at 5:18 am

Such great ideas and reminders. Thank you!

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chaotic kitten April 11, 2009 at 10:58 am

I’m nowhere near a ‘maintenance’ state yet – still much, much dehoarding and decluttering and organising to do, but these are some really wise hints and tips, which will help me achieve my goals, as well as being helpful once the process is complete (if it ever will be!!)

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