Isn't it funny how some days clutter can sit happily on a shelf in the background unnoticed yet on other days it can stare you in the face and fill you with fear? On these days the amount of clutter you own can feel overwhelming and too big a task to deal with. The way to conquer clutter is to not ignore it (it won't go away of its own accord) but to fight the fear, look it in the eye and attack it in stages. Like conquering any demon - one day at a time works with clutter. You will need to set aside time but it's amazing how much decluttering you can do in a short space of time. Even in 15 minutes. Short attacks on your clutter hotspots will energise you, motivate you and open your mind to the possibility of creating a calmer and more ordered living space which will need only light decluttering in the future.
In the last three years I have had to help my parents clear two homes lived in by my deceased uncle and great uncle. Both were bachelors who enjoyed life to the full and didn't worry about who would deal with the decades of clutter they had accumulated once they passed away. One had a serious newspaper/magazine hoarding problem (issues going back to the 1960s) and another had an addiction to buying identical blue cotton long sleeved shirts. Clearing both these homes was hard and at times frankly depressing. I never knew dust could be so thick. The only way we could deal with clearing these homes was to work quickly and to keep to a strict time limit. Visit by visit we decluttered both homes in stages and it got easier with each visit. However limiting our time was fundamental because any decluttering work is draining both physically and emotionally.
In my own home clutter still accumulates. Paperwork soon mounts up in the kitchen, towels and bedlinen seem to multiply in the linen cupboard and mystery items somehow settle in my underwear drawer without my approval. A quick speedy purge in these clutter hot spots works wonders and is always easier than I anticipate. After downsizing I have edited all my possessions in the last two years but some areas (paperwork/ footwear) are still overflowing and need regular attention.
This week despite being very busy with work and family commitments I have set aside short periods of time to declutter (no longer than 30 minutes apiece). This is what I have achieved.
- Cleared out and re-organised our kitchen drawers.
- Decluttered and tidied our linen cupboard.
- Emptied and decluttered my top drawer (socks, tights and underwear).