That drawer filled with random rubbish (charger cords to phones that haven’t been used in at least five years, a pile of loose change, condiments from various restaurants) is what we call clutter.
Wouldn’t it be fun to get rid of that? To chuck the cords, use the change, ditch the condiments? Of course it would! So why don’t we?
Well… there could be a variety of reasons. The most common one? A common fear – that that weird thing crammed into a drawer somewhere in the bowels of your house may come in useful someday and result in you having saved X amount of money by not having to re-purchase it.
But let’s be real – the chances of that happening are fairly slim. And, even if you do end up needing one of those strange items that seems to have no place in your home, is it really worth it? Is that little saving really worth the space it takes (not to mention the mess that will be created when you finally go hunting for it).
Well, no. At least, not when weighed up against the benefits of de-cluttering, like the neat and less stressful environment it creates and the lack of panic attacks when some visitor’s small child decides to open every cupboard and drawer its little hands can reach.
So, time to de-clutter. But how on Earth do you start?
My advice is to be realistic. Make a goal of how much you want to tackle per day (then halve it). Stick to your goal even if you feel like you’re having a fantastic time and can keep going for another hour at least – it’s easy to overextend, get overwhelmed and then throw in the towel completely.
Another trick that’s helped me immensely? For every item that you’re struggling with, try to find at least one use that you definitely will have for it in the next three months. If you can’t find one, chuck it.
Disclaimer: This does not apply to anything seasonal or expensive (obviously).
De-cluttering is something that should, ideally, be done every few months. Clutter always begins to accumulate and regular sessions ensure that you never have to spend more than an hour or two getting it done. Make it a part of your cleaning routine, just like washing the curtains.
But, as with everything else, prevention is better than cure. The easiest way to not accumulate clutter is to evaluate what you bring into your home and make sure everything has an at least decent chance of being used.