By Julie Taylor
Millions of self-help books are sold in this country each year, offering advice on how to be thinner, smarter, richer, more successful... the list goes on and on. Sadly, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fix ourselves in one way or another. Why do we focus on the negative instead of the positive? “Most of us have been taught that we [have to] be perfect to be good enough,” says psychotherapist Dorothy Martin-Neville, Ph.D., founder of the Institute of Healing...
“When you get up in the morning, if you have clutter right there in your face, it starts your day off on the wrong foot. When you have to start your day by looking for your keys or your phone or your toothbrush, it makes you anxious and you haven’t even left the house yet!”
If you think you don’t have time to clear your clutter, think again. With an action plan from experts, you can bust the clutter in your home in 15-minute chunks every day -- and build yourself an oasis of calm that’s also less of a haven for dust, dirt, and allergens.
Before you de-clutter any space, prepare. You need bags or boxes for four purposes, says Ellen Delap, a professional organizer in Houston:
Things you will donate to charity
Things you want to sell at a yard sale, or on Craigslist, Ebay, or freecycle
Things that belong in another room
Things headed for the trash
Now you’re ready to de-clutter any room.
When in Doubt About Clutter, Psych Yourself Out
Many home organization experts say “When in doubt, throw it out.” Colorado psychotherapist and organizing consultant Aricia LaFrance isn’t so strict. “It just slows you down and makes you hate organizing,” she says.
Instead, if you have something you don’t wear or use, but are on the fence about parting with it, stick it in a box. Put the box in your garage or attic, and write a future date on it -- one year or six months from now.
“If you really need something from that box, you can go out and get it,” says LaFrance. “When the date comes -- and you need to write it in your calendar -- don’t open the box. Donate it or throw it away.”