New Year is a time for fresh starts making decluttering a very popular holiday activity. MaryAnne Bennie, author of From Stuffed to Sorted shares her top five most common excuses people use to hold on to excess clutter and some clever tips to turn them around.
1. You think you need everyone in your household to support your decluttering efforts. While it can be lonely being the organising warrior of the household, you may well have to go it alone.
TIP: You may never get cooperation from others but never let that be the reason you don’t organise your own stuff and your own space. You are the boss of you!
2. You think that storage alone will solve your problems. In almost every case I have seen of people adding extra storage for storage sake, they have not become more organised, they are just storing more stuff.
TIP: Aim to balance your stuff so that your storage and your stuff are in complete harmony.
3. You think that everything might come in handy one day. The 80:20 rule says that 20 per cent of our stuff is used 80 per cent of the time and a whopping 80 per cent of our stuff is used infrequently or not at all. Your job it to work out the difference between the hard working 20 per cent and the freeloading 80 per cent.
TIP: Ask yourself when you will use the item in question and what you will do on that day without the item at hand. You will always have a great alternative solution to the situation.
4. You believe getting organised will take a lot of time. The truth is that you can spend short bursts of time doing small sections of your home which will eventually amount to the whole house.
TIP: You do not have to do the whole house in one hit. Chunk it down and develop an organising philosophy where you are constantly improving your home one section at a time.
5. You think that by putting things in safe places or temporary homes until you get sorted will work. The attitude that you will put things in a spot ‘for now’ is fraught with danger. Very often the ‘for now’ place is forgotten about and things get lost.
TIP: The key is to work systematically to create permanent homes for the things you need, want, love and use.
Are you ready to dump your petty excuses and take control of your life in 2013? It’s up to you!
Written by MaryAnne Bennie, author of From Stuffed to Sorted, your essential guide to organising, room by room.
About the Author
MaryAnne Bennie is an organising expert, speaker and director of in8 homeoffice and life organising. In 2002 she created the in8steps and Paper Flow systems, and in 2009 she co-authored the best-selling book Paper Flow.
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