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Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2017

Clutter just happens

Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010, at 3:55 PM

Clutter just happens.

Suddenly your desk is filled with zig zagged papers. All sizes.

There are five or six pair of reading glasses, none of which fit properly.

And the desktop, in disarray, resembles the daybed across the room.

The daybed is filled with clothes that need hanging but there are no more hangers and no more room in the closet. The big walk in closet is filled with those plastic bins that are also stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.

How does all this stuff get here and why?

One can wear just so many blouses and jeans.

Yet our closets are filled with pants that no longer fit. Some are out of style; some too big or too small, too long or too short, the wrong colors...

Purses of all sizes jam the shelf in the master bedroom, yet we habitually carry only one or two of our favorites handbags...

We have mismatched hosiery, some the wrong shade, that should have been tossed long ago but we don't take the time to "go through" them.

Men have collections of ball caps but they wear the same cap until it decomposes

My son-in-law has a collection of 100 neckties.

He didn't set out to have that collection. It just sneaked upon him, one necktie at a time...

That's the way of clutter too.

It insinuates itself into our space.

Paper clutter is a constant counter wrecker.

As fast as we trash it, more arrives to take its place.

There are those store receipts; we think we must keep in case we return something.

And there are empty boxes that once held a television set, a microwave, or a toaster.

Surely, they can't be tossed; they may eventually have use.

Therefore the boxes are stored in the basement or garage, temporarily, taking up valuable space.

There are numerous areas of clutter; counter top clutter, paper clutter, basement, coffee top, makeup tables, and kitchen. And, of course, closet clutter where there's often an overflow of various purses and shoes. Some of the purses are outdated and some of the shoes pinch or don't fit.

If your stuff is controlling you and your space, then it's time to de-clutter, experts say.

Before tackling the clutter in any given room, stop, look around, and ask yourself what is important (to you) in that room.

Then rid yourself of the excess baggage, step by step, until only your treasures remain.

In my house, there's a lot of paper clutter. I keep magazines that I intend to read one day and they accumulate. And there's the junk mail that arrives in my mailbox almost daily. Most junk mail should be tossed in the waste can immediately.

There's no personal attachment there but for many people other junk has sentiment. An elephant statue with raised trunk may have been a gift from Aunt Minnie.

Items in your curio cabinet are gifts from friends or family and they hold memories to people you care about.

But one day, due to circumstances, there comes a time to organize, to regroup, and take charge of the junk that now controls you.

Pick the one area that drives you crazy and begin there. It probably won't be accomplished in one day or a week even, but start.

For me, it is the computer room. It was once neat, a pleasant place, but now it is an accumulation of flea market buys, magazines, stuffed animals, knick knacks, and clothes that need hanging. My desktop is topsy turvy with calendars, photos, notebooks and papers that need cataloging or tossing.

Each day I walk into the room, put away a few items, then retreat because the task is overwhelming. I just don't know what to do with all the stuff I've collected.

I know I need to spring clean in October.

I read somewhere that one solution to clutter is to store items in baskets.

So I bought baskets.

Now my computer room overflows with overflowing baskets.

A friend walked into my computer room and announced, "You need to get rid of those baskets."

Honestly, I know the rules about de-cluttering and one day soon I plan to put them in action.

There's the keep or toss test, prioritizing, take the first step, and organize.

I must get my house in order.

Before Thanksgiving.

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By Peggy Johnson
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