Some people are messy by nature, but beyond the clutter they can fall into a number of different categories. There are those that appear messy, but if you asked them to find an important document such as a birth certificate or a passport they could tell you exactly where it is and then there are those that wouldn’t have a clue!
The next question really is are you messy, or do you just have too much stuff? Do you find it hard to let go of anything, or do you continually buy the same things over and over because you can’t find what you are looking for…?
So, taking into account everyone’s idea of clutter, stuff, sacred possessions (call it what you will), when does mess matter?
Well, whilst you may not be a hoarder, having too much stuff or living in disarray on a daily basis can have a negative impact on the quality of your life. You may be much less focussed, feel stressed, have a lessened sense of peace of mind, feel a sense of embarrassment (when people visit), often be late (trying to find things and as such feel rushed).
It is important to stress that those who are naturally disorganised may not feel chaotic, and feel a sense of comfort from a lack of structure – but they may still like to address aspects of their home if they live with other people that do find the environment trying.
If you feel like the beginning of 2018 might be the perfect time to start tackling some clutter, then read on for some expert tips:
- Try to reduce the number of possessions that you own, give unwanted items to charity, throw away things that are broken or have no useful life left etc. It is not a good idea to just move items from room to room, ultimately this does not solve the problem and in the world of de-cluttering this is called ‘churning’.
- Start small, tidy one drawer, or one dresser, do not think you have to tackle the whole house in a day. You will just feel overwhelmed. If even approaching one cupboard feels too much, set a timer for a small amount of time – say 15 minutes, and just work on it for that amount of time. Then do the same tomorrow and so on until finished.
- There are no set rules for systems, it is not necessary to have all CD’s, DVD’s or books in alphabetical order, or clothes organised by type/colour. Tidy away things in a way that is pleasing to you.
- If you are struggling, try a few testing questions – Do you love it? Does it have sentimental value? Have you worn it in the last year? If there is ‘no joy’ – it should go.
- Once you have started to get your existing possessions under control it is time to think about future actions. Try to borrow and not buy where possible. Exchange items with friends and family. If you bring something new into the house, then something else should be discarded.