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I’ve been asked a certain question many times since I published this post explaining how I declutter with out making a bigger mess.
The game changing de cluttering strategy? Taking things where the go… now.
Not making piles of stuff to deal with latter. In my distractable world “later” doesn’t always happen.
Even though the take it there right now concept will rock your world (I promise, it will) there’s this issue.
What to do when the place where I need to take it (the place where I would look first) is a disaster? What if it wont even fit in the place where it’s supposed to go because it’s so cluttered.
Hmmmm, good question!
But… it’s possibly, maybe, potentially a case of classic “slob over thinking”.
Not that I’m calling the asker a slob, I’m going from my own experience as someone who always has a big ole BUT
(with one T, thank you very much)!
I’m going to answer the two questions separately, because they are two different ways that one de cluttering project can get derailed by another de cluttering project.
Question #1 – What do I do when the place where I need to take it is a disaster?
A while back, I cleared our dining room table after a few weeks without hosting our church group.
The table was covered with various crafts, books, dishes, and projects.
I know where these items go!
Craft supplies would go in the office, where I would look first. I know there is a place for everything.
But, when I took them there… well, nothing was where it should have been.
That right there, is another de cluttering project! A totally different project! Than what I was tackling, which was the dining room table.
I’m pretty sure some of those craft items could have gone right in the trash! There was a real temptation to tackle that right then and there. I mean, I was already in the de cluttering zone.
If I stopped clearing the dining table and started on craft supplies, I’d find myself sucked in to the black hole of ever craft basket that could use a good going through.
Suddenly, the time I had to de clutter would be gone, and the table would still be a mess.
And that was the project I needed to finish.
That was my visible space that guests would see.
Here’s what I did.
I closed the door!
Visually, a big improvement (especially if you aren’t looking close). It took 2 seconds and didn’t distract me from the project that actually mattered right then.
Now, for the other question.
Question #2 – What if it wont fit in the place where it’s supposed to go because that space is so cluttered?
What about the times when the place I’d look first doesn’t have room for that thing?
Here’s where grasping the container concept is key. Containers are natural limits. They determine how much stuff I can have.
Shelves, drawers, cabinets, ect are containers. They contain (limit) how much stuff I can have. If you definitely have to keep this object, and there’s no space, the you must practice the one it, one out rule.
For it to fit, I have to get rid of something else, something that isn’t as worthy.
For example, while clearing the table, I needed to put a puzzle in our game cabinet. I don’t need to declutter the cabinet, I just have to make room for the new object.
It’s the one in, one out rule.
In a perfect world, I’d clean the table, game cabinet, kitchen pantry, garage, and closets. I don’t live in a perfect world. I live in a house. And I want to let my friends come in side.