aim4order professional organizer

Clutter Myths

Clutter Myths

“Clutter is anything that  does not support your better self.”

 Eleanor Brownn

Top 5 Clutter Myths

Have you ever keep calm reduce clutter, mythstalked yourself out of getting rid of something? I know I have!

Many of us defend the right to buy and/or keep items that may not be essential and can even cause added stress due to the space they inhabit. Hopefully some of these myths below can help you to call your own bluff when you really, really think you NEED to keep something.
1. “But I Might Need This!”

Empty cookie tins, spare shopping bags, empty boxes, extra toiletries from hotel rooms, sample cosmetics, old wallets, old eyeglasses, baby books that haven’t been completed, old comfy ripped up and stained pants, magazines with articles that you want to read from 1986, holiday cooking magazines, scrapbooking supplies from a long lost attempted project… do any of these occupy your living space or some faraway cabinet? It is fear that tricks us into thinking that it would be unwise to get rid of an item, even if it hasn’t been used in decades, because we “might” need it. One of the best statistics I’ve heard claims that we will only need about 20% of the items we hold on to “just in case” and of those items, 80% cost under $20 to replace. This certainly validates my favorite saying, “When in doubt, throw it out!”
2. “I’ll forget about that person, place or thing if I get rid of it.”
Many people enjoy reliving the occasion or the person that is associated with certain objects that are kept in their home. The truth, in most cases, is that the special trinket or memory is stashed in a drawer or in a closet or stuffed in a closet. These things are rarely ever seen as they tend to blend into the background of a cluttered home. IF you truly love looking at something in your home and you have room to give it the proper attention it deserves, then yes, keep it. HOWEVER, if it’s just going in a box to be dealt with never, then better to let it go or take a picture of it so you can tell yourself that you’ll look at it whenever you want (even though the odds are that you won’t remember to look).
3. “I paid good money for this – it’s too good to just give away.”
This one hurts – but here’s another way to think about the item. The item is taking up real estate in your home. If you calculate the cost of each square foot in your home and tally the amount of money that is being spent to house things you don’t use or enjoy, THAT’S a lot of money. You already spent the money so why perpetuate the cost of something you no longer want or need. You can donate the item or you can sell the item – your trash could be someone’s treasure. If you need help deciding if something is worthy of donating or selling, please email a picture of it to me and I’d be happy to offer my opinion.
4. “I’ll wait until I move.”
It’s very difficult to find the motivation and time to declutter, especially if you’re not home a lot or if you have health issues. It’s easier to say that you’ll deal with it later… or when you move. The difficulty with waiting until you move is that you add great stress to an already stressful event. Imagine if you started doing a little bit each week… by the time you moved, you’d be in great shape. One quick way to get motivated is to line up a charity to come regularly for a pick up at your front door. I like contacting Purple Heart or National Children’s Center because I can go on line and arrange it with a few clicks. Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lupus and Salvation Army and others do pick ups, but you may need to call them to schedule your pick up.
5. “My children – niece – neighbor – anyone might want this.”
In a perfect world, we would make a decision about each item we wanted to get rid of and then magically be able to get the item to the recipient without any delay. Having someone from Aim 4 Order is as close to magic as you can get… but if that’s not possible, then arranging pick up times for potential recipients of items (within a reasonable amount of time) is your next best option. Please give people a response time deadline. It’s great to offer items to others, but it’s not great to have them sitting around for weeks/months and years until they get them. You don’t need to deliver them – if they really want the items, they can pick them up in a certain time frame OR you can strongly suggest they pay to have them shipped or delivered (especially in the case of furniture). State the last date for pick up and your Plan B can be a donation site.
BONUS Myth – “I’ll put it in storage.”
Storage is a dangerous place… especially paid storage. There are certain times when it’s necessary (if you are living somewhere temporarily until you move to a bigger space)… but in most cases, storage is for items that you can’t decide on and in my experience, the items lose their ‘specialness’ the longer they are stored away and out of sight. It might hurt at first, but it’s better for your wallet to make the decisions before you opt to house something in a paid storage unit. (And yes, there are exceptions to this rule!).

I hope this list will motivate you to get the job of decluttering underway. And if you’re not making the progress you want to make, it would be my pleasure to work with you as a virtual client or in person. Click here to discuss!

  “Helping Baby Boomers and their Parents Lighten their Loads.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home, contact me. Together, we can transform your home into a happy, tidy place where you can feel at peace. We can also get you ready for your next move… more enjoyable, faster and easier!


Cindy Bernstein, Owner and Professional Organizer



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