Clutter | Definition, Impact
Clutter may be very different for 1 person than someone else. It is part subjective and there are also objective considerations. Clutter can be a verb and it can also be a noun . However you define clutter it is best to try to reserve judgment and decide whether or not it impacts you or someone you share space with in any of the following ways:
- Psychologically, emotionally – stress, overwhelm, time management, productivity and efficiency.
- Health, safety-wise – allergies, asthma impacted by dust, mold; danger of items falling, trip hazards.
- Financially – over-spending, risk of debt, duplicating purchases of items that you own and cannot locate.
Clutter | Considerations
As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I offer the following questions that you can ask yourself if you are beginning to question whether or not there is clutter in your space at home or work:
- When considering whether there is clutter, ask yourself if the item(s) is something that you use, or not.
- Do you use it regularly? If so, does it need to be out on a surface or stored? Storing items can alleviate cluttered surfaces.
- Do you have the space to store what you need and want, and is it accessible?
- Are there ways to create more storage space (cupboards, shelves)? Purge unneeded items. Add shelves and hooks to utilize vertical space for storage.
- View the counter spaces and furniture tops. Does it appear clutter-free? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Can individual items be appreciated?
- Clutter appears in crowded entryways, mudrooms and on staircases. Are those areas safe in your home or are there potential hazards?
- Use your “visitor’s mind”. If you walked into your house or office for the first time, what would your initial impression of the space(s) be?
Clutter | Organizing Tips
As your Personal Professional Organizer it is important to set you up for success with organizing tips that you can use anytime. Purge items that you no longer use, need, want or are in good condition. No matter what you want to organize, including your email inbox, the key is to get rid of clutter by purging first. It doesn’t matter how much you spent on something or who gave it to you, trust me. If it is just taking up space and collecting dust you are better off letting it go.
Similar items that you are keeping should be grouped together. This will allow you to see how much of these items you have and give you an opportunity, if you have too many of the same, to purge the excess. Once you know how much you are keeping you need to create a home for them. Where are they going to live, so to speak?
Another important organizing tip is to store items as close to where they will be needed and used as possible. Look at the space and determine if it is adequate in size, and how the items might be contained inside the space. Please don’t buy organizing containers without this information.
You may want to try organizing on your own. Avoid overwhelm and work in 1 area at a time. Another alternative is to hire a Professional Organizer to help kick start the process with you, teach you skills that you can use on your own, and provide the motivation through results. Best wishes for your clutter-free life!