The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

October 12, 2013

Simplify your life by decluttering

— Do any of these statements sound familiar?

• I’m afraid I’ll need something right after I get rid of it.

• I can’t get rid of this because it’s special.

• I can never find anything after I put it away.

• I want less clutter, but I just can’t figure out how to get started.

No one goes through life without accumulating stuff. Too much stuff contributes to clutter and disorganization. It can be a cause for stress in our lives and conflict in our relationships. Managing clutter saves time and money. Clutter can also be unsafe if you have so much stuff that you can’t safely move around the house. (Let’s distinguish clutter from hoarding, which is a popular topic right now. Hoarding is a medical condition that needs to be addressed by a professional.)

It isn’t always easy to know how to tackle our clutter, but having a realistic plan can help you get started. So, where to begin? You could choose to attack the area that causes you the most anxiety and then move on to the next area according to your priority. Or, you could choose to go room by room, clearing out closets, shelves and drawers as you go.

As you are clearing clutter, ask yourself these questions:

• When was the last time I used this? (Decide upon your own acceptable time frame — one month, six months, etc.)

• How often do I use that?

• Where do I use it?

• Do I have more than one; Do I need more than one?

• Is it usable? If so, will I ever use it again?

• If I didn’t have this item, would it even impact my life?

• Could someone else use it?

Now look at sorting your items. Make it a priority to have no piles remaining at the end of your de-cluttering session. Have four piles (boxes), one for each of these:

• Pitch any item that is broken or is a project you never finished.

• Donate/Sell/Recycle /Gift — Have a plan for the items to give away or sell and then DO IT. Otherwise, you just created another clutter pile.

• Save and put away. Store items near where they will be used.

• To be determined (TBD). You may have to keep sorting through these items a couple of times in order to make decisions on the pile. Don’t let your TBD pile become the slightly smaller clutter cluster.

Once you have worked so hard to clean out your clutter, here are some tips for staying on top of those areas.

• Spurt strategy — Take five to 15 minutes sporadically during the day to pick up and put away any stray items.

• Prompt put away — If there are any tasks that can be completed immediately, do not put it off. For example, hang up your coat, put your keys on the hook, etc.

• Castaway container — If you find something you will no longer use, place it here immediately for donation/resale. Once the container is filled, take the necessary steps to move these items along. Otherwise, this can become a secondary clutter issue.

• Good riddance routine — Doing de-clutter maintenance on a regular basis. This means taking a look through your clutter clusters regularly.

Doing any one or a combination of the above four strategies will lessen the chance that clutter will build again. In the words of Peter Walsh, “No matter how large or small, a home should be about the quality of life you want, not the quantity of stuff you can acquire.”

If you want more information, please contact Jessica Nickels at 237-1228 or jes sica.nickels@okstate.edu.

Nickels, MS, RD/LD, is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences educator for Garfield County.

1
Text Only
Enid Features
Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
House Ads
Comics