Clutter – Don’t Fight It – Go with the Flow

Look around your home. Where are your hot spots – those places where clutter builds up over and over again? You have a plan in place but the next thing you know, you’re right back where you started. Typically these places tend to be near the door, on the kitchen counter, by the bedside, on the dining room table, or on your desk.

Once you locate your hot spots, take a look at what has accumulated.
Much of the time, most of the stuff is paper. If you dump all the mail in one spot (or two) instead of taking it to that nice center you set up in your office, admit that the system is not working for you at this time. So just go with the flow. Set up a basket right there – right where the paper is accumulating. Put a trash can there, too. When you are ready to sort papers, you know right where they will be. At this point, the only sort you might do is remove and trash the junk mail.
If your night stand is really a nightmare – overflowing with magazines, books, catalogues, hand cream, tissues, your phone, and more – contain it. Put a basket by the bed for all reading material. When the basket overflows – clear out all items over 2 months old and start again. Put a small basket or have an end table with a drawer to hold the hand cream, tissues, phone, glasses, and the like. This will keep you from groping under the bed for your glasses and phone in the morning.
If you have the habit of doing your nails or working crossword puzzles while sitting on the couch, use and end table with a drawer or basket to hold the items you tend to just leave dumped on or by the couch.
Keep these three rules in mind.
  1. Keep an eye on these hot spots and when baskets or containers are overflowing and there is too much stuff lying nearby, use this as your cue to take time and clear it out again.
  2. Let the whole family in on what is going on and why.
  3. Keep the system as easy as possible.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

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