Living Clutter Free Does Not Happen by Accident
By Dee Dee Bass-Francis, Chaos Solutions
Clutter is generally a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. However, most of us do mind. We mind when our homes, cars and offices become disorganized because whether we realize it or not, physical clutter creates mental clutter.
January is National Get Organized Month and I can think of no better time than now to reign in the chaos that comes from a cluttered home or workspace.
For the last three years as owner of Chaos Solutions a personal assistant and concierge service, I have witnessed a number of unique strategies that people use to eliminate clutter. I hope that one of the top three most effective ways will make sure that clutter doesn’t get the best of you.
The Ten Minute Rule
The vigilantes against clutter (people who cannot function with a sofa pillow out place) use what I call The Ten Minute Rule. Nothing in their home or office is allowed to stay out of place for more than 10 minutes. Face it. Small piles of clothes, paper and dishes become skyscrapers of clothes, paper and dishes because in our mind we constantly say, I’ll get back to that later. For the vigilantes against clutter, later is never more than ten minutes away. Training yourself to have a vigilante against clutter attitude means that you wash dishes after you eat. Books never linger in piles before being returned to their proper place on the shelf. Coats are immediately hung in the closet or on the rack. And clutter is a thing of the past.
For most of us the Ten Minute Rule can be a challenge. Therefore, the second method that works for many people is to have a designated time of day that is reserved for decluttering. Make it as much a part of your daily routine as going to the gym or listening to your newscast. Give it an actual appointment time on your calendar. Make it a time to unwind. Create a declutter playlist on your itunes with music that pumps you up or helps you relax. Get in some “reading” by listening to books on tape. Because you will be managing it daily, there is no need to give it more than 30 to 45 minutes.
Corner of Despair
The most humorous way that I have seen people tackle their clutter is by maintaining a corner of despair. In some cases that corner is literally a corner. In other cases, it can be a closet or an entire room. The method to the madness is that 99% of their home is kept spotless because they toss all of their disorder into one space that is generally out of their view and almost always out of view from visitors. It does not technically eliminate the clutter. But it does keep the clutter from taking over your entire home.
Whether you practice the Ten Minute Rule or trick the system with your very own Corner of Despair, any strategy that works to reign in the chaos of clutter is better than no strategy at all.
Dee Dee Bass-Francis is owner of Chaos Solutions, a personal concierge service. Dee Dee also hosts a weekly radio program where she talks to realtors, doctors, teachers, lawyers, business leaders, mechanics, artists, athletes and more for insights on how to bring calm and eliminate chaos in every situation.