While researching for my Army Wife Network article on clutter I came across the “Ten Commandments of Clutter”. You can find them in the book “How to Conquer Clutter” by Stephanie Culp. I really like these commandments as guidelines to follow to manage what is brought into the home and when things need to leave the home. I practice some of these commandments. Do you?
Ten Commandments of Clutter
I. STOP PROCRASTINATING
Stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, especially when you know you probably won’t do it tomorrow anyway. Decide to decide what you are going to do with the next piece of clutter that you pick up.
II. QUIT MAKING EXCUSES
Stop making tiresome excuses for you clutter. You are only fooling yourself, and the clutter is not going to go away by itself.
III. USE IT OR LOSE IT
If you’re not using it, lose it. Period.
IV. LEARN TO LET IT GO
As lives change, needs change, but somehow clutter accumulates with no regard for our challenged lives. Clutter that is merely taking up valuable space and giving you nothing in return should be tossed or given away.
V. BE A GIVER
Give things away. Don’t wait until you die to give away china that you don’t ever use now. Every garment you never wear could be worn by a less-fortunate person. Friends, relatives and charities all appreciate a giving person far more than they do a pack rat.
VI. SET LIMITS
Limit the amount of space you allocate to house your clutter. Closets, bookcases, filing cabinets – all should be limited. Just because one space fills up doesn’t mean you should find or buy more space. It means it’s time to weed out your clutter to reclaim the space you already have.
VII. USE THE IN-AND-OUT INVENTORY RULE
If something new comes in, something old goes out. Apply this rule to everything from toys to clothes to books and magazines. Stick to it, and you’ll always be in control of your clutter.
VIII. LESS IS MORE
The less clutter you have, the more time, money and energy you will have. People will stop nagging you and you’ll be under less stress. You will be more productive with a streamlined life.
IX. KEEP EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
Find a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. (The blender does not belong in the bedroom, and the mail does not belong in the bathroom.)
Compromise when you organize your clutter. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from doing it or allowing someone else to help you. Functioning efficiently is more important than functioning perfectly. Remember: perfect is not the same as excellent, and sometimes good is good enough.