An End to Clutter Hot Spots
There are certain areas in homes and lives that seem to magically attract clutter. One day you have a beautifully clean, empty kitchen table and the next day it is covered in mail, school papers, dry cleaning receipts and other odds and ends.
While owning less certainly helps the clutter hot spot battle, it’s nice to have a strategy for each area.
If you have a phone with apps, I can almost guarantee that you have too many. Do you really need a compass on your phone? Do a monthly app sweep and put a hold on buying new apps. Before adding a new one to your phone ask yourself this question. “will this tool help me live a better life or will it be an added distraction?”
Also notice if you are using your apps to engage or just to check things that don’t matter in the moment. For instance, if you check email or Facebook on your phone and then respond later from your computer, why bother checking in advance. That mindless, seemingly harmless check-in adds mental clutter.
Digital clutter is the worst because it’s silent and you can easily hide it in folders. You can ignore it indefinitely until you are looking for something or until that one special day when you lose it all. If you’ve been through a big crash, you know that as soon as it happens, everyone asks you this question, “didn’t you have a back up?”
Save less and use Dropbox to easily back things up from your computer or phone on a regular basis. It’s free, easy and intuitive.
Counter and Table Tops
These beautiful surfaces never stay empty for long. Keys, mail, and everything in your hands when you walk through the door ends up in a cluttered pile. The initial pile isn’t the biggest issue. The issue is the law of attraction. Clutter attracts clutter. Once the pile starts, there is no stopping it.
Instead of facing a mountain of clutter at the end of the month, take two simple steps:
- Declare a clutter-free zone. Keep one counter or table top completely clear of clutter. Use that space to motivate other clutter-free areas.
- Put things away, right away. That small pile is a 2-4 minute project. Go there before it takes over.
Your clothes and other clutter may be behind closed doors, but you see it everyday when you get dressed. Take action and pack a suitcase as if you were going on a seven-day trip. The destination: YOUR LIFE. Set aside enough clothing to get through exactly seven days of your life.
With your seven days of clothing set aside, box up everything else and hide the boxes in another room. Challenge yourself to see how long you can dress with your seven days worth of clothing. Thirty days will be long enough to prove that you can successfully dress with less.
Garages, attics and paid storage units are a perfect place for ultimate clutter denial. Stop paying to store your stuff. Clearing the clutter that you don’t see every day will be nothing less than liberating! All of that stuff that you have hidden away weighs you down and holds you back even though you can’t see it. Let it go, and make room for the good stuff.
Dump the contents of your junk drawer into a bag or box. Label it and hide it for 30 days. If you don’t miss it, dump it. No peeking to try to remember what you might have forgotten. Instead of organizing your junk drawer year after year, get rid of it.
Clutter invades your space, steals your time and money and clouds your mind. Move beyond clutter and let your life unfold without the distraction of knick knacks, odds and ends, bits and pieces and stuff that has little meaning and no purpose.
My friend Leo Babauta and I taught a four-week course about how to live a Clutterfree life. Now it’s available for you to enjoy at your own pace over the course of 16 weeks.
To see a detailed course description, please visit The Clutterfree Course.
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