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
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
House Ads
Comics