Clutter! One mans junk is another mans treasure. Clutter is the stuff we think we need but we don’t. I struggle with clutter. I don’t know why, yet I do. I have all my life. I like stuff, what can I say. I’m a visual person and I like to have things where I can see them. And before long it has a way of taking over.
The American answer for clutter is closets and storage boxes. We buy houses based on how much storage they have. We can hire a personal organizer to help us eliminate clutter. We can rent a storage unit to house the things that can’t fit in our houses. We even have a store dedicated to storage so that we can keep our stuff nice and neat.
My daughter lives in Africa and she does not have a closet. When I went to visit her, I could not believe it. All she has is one metal shelving unit and her suitcases. She has no where to hang up clothes. And there are no kitchen cabinets either, just shelves. They have just enough plates and bowls for each person to have one. No four piece place settings and no china for special occasions. They have a couple of pots and a spoon to stir and serve with and that’s it. I have nine kitchen cabinets and a pantry and at times I still complain about lack of kitchen storage space.
I am ashamed to admit it but I share a walk in closet with my husband and have additional clothes in my sons closet.
My house has a coat closet, linen closet, a wall of cabinets in the loft and a little storage house in the backyard where lawn equipment is stored.
And don’t get me started with the bookshelves.
I have read books and signed up for daily emails to help me eliminate clutter. The books gave me good ideas but the emails simply cluttered my inbox. For me, the best way to eliminate clutter is to do it in baby steps. Take a small section each day and eventually I’ll finish. That is one of my goals for 2014, not to simply eliminate clutter but to have beautiful closets with room to spare. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a minimalist but I can try.
Maybe we should take lessons from our African friends and get rid of our stuff instead of buying more houses with more storage space.
For those of you following the 7 Day Challenge, this is today’s challenge:
If you feel overwhelmed with clutter, don’t panic. I’d like you to pick one space in your home to declutter as soon as you can today. This can be a drawer, cupboard, closet, medicine cabinet, your nightstand, or if you’re feeling overly ambitious, the pantry or refrigerator. Ruthlessly clear out any and all clutter and unnecessary items you find. Consider passing on extra food and household items to friends or donating these to someone in need. When cleaning out clutter, you’ve probably heard there are three categories: keep it, toss it, or donate it. Start with this one small space and I promise you will feel a sense of accomplishment right away.
Clean house and make room for new energy and experiences!