Address Clutter Sooner Rather than Later

I would love to peek into your clutter and help you address it directly. If you want to send a picture or two, I’m glad to reply with a few suggestions or questions. 

What is clutter?

My rule of thumb is that something becomes clutter when it has not been touched or purposefully moved for a designated period of time. Different types of things have different time periods. For instance, if you have not moved junk mail in a few days, it is clutter. If you have not moved your holiday decorations this year, it becomes clutter. (Exception: a circumstance like illness or unusual activity interrupted the normal activity.)

When something occupies space but is not examined closely or used, it becomes clutter. Learn how to purposefully address things that are kept but not used is the way to a decluttered home, office, or car.

In our house, we have a fair amount of Christmas clutter to address. Over the next two weeks, Bud and I will take down the holiday decorations for another year. Everything that we put out is purposeful and chosen to use. However, there are items in the boxes that were not used this year and some of these items have become clutter and can be addressed as such. Instead of seeing how quickly we can put things away this year, we are first going to look through the boxes and decide what to do with things that were not used. Earlier in my career, it was important to have a Christmas Open House for the churches I served, welcoming people into the parsonage once a year. During that period, we decorated everywhere and used every serving dish available. However, that day is done. Because we have had the space, we have been able to keep everything. Now, however, we are beginning to downsize and choose carefully what we keep. Much has become clutter in the Christmas boxes and in the attic.

We have now begun these steps:

1.       Remove everything that is left in the storage boxes and decide if we will ever use it again. What about the Nutcrackers? How about the fabric sled that holds a loaf pan?

2.       Take pictures of every item for discard and upload them to Google Photos, sending a link to our now adult children. They will have first pick. Anything they want will be put in a box for them. Through this action, the items have been purposefully touched and moved. While we keep the box for them until they are in more permanent homes, it is no longer cluttering our attic. Put on the bottom boxes that will not be used next year.

3.       Give away anything that is not claimed within a set time frame (1 week is my choice).

4.       Return boxes to the attic.

The attic? That’s for another day! But we will know that the Christmas corner has been addressed already.

Declutteringly yours,