Making Progress in March

The third week of March is designated as National Clutter Awareness Week. Clutter may seem like a small matter, but it can actually have a big impact on your quality of life. Clutter often creeps up over time, and its consequences can be felt by all around. It can have an impact on living spaces, schedules, emotions, health, jobs, and even relationships.

What makes the difference between controlling the clutter and being overwhelmed by it? It is the ability to recognize clutter and promptly tackle it in your home, work, or life. “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions®” [Barbara Hemphill, Certified Productive Environment Specialist]. It is the papers and objects that are waiting to find their real homes.

While it’s never too late to deal with clutter, being proactive in preventing clutter is often the easiest approach. If you make the needed decisions to prevent clutter from accumulating in the first place, you can keep it from building up and becoming overwhelming.


Whether you have a little or a lot of clutter (we all have some), here are a few things to help you take control and make sure clutter does not take over your life.

• Make it a priority: It is easy to put off the decisions about what you should keep or where, but this only leads to accumulating items that sit around and cause stress. Address those decisions one item at a time. Set yourself a goal of things you want to think about each day. Consider looking at 5-10 items a day, deciding if they are needed in your life, and, if so, where is the best place to store them. Once you decide, either place them in a box ready to leave your home or put them away in their new location.
• Establish a routine: You don’t have to have a rigid schedule but more so adopt a way of life. It might involve clearing the kitchen counters every evening, tossing junk mail away before you enter the house, or putting the laundry away immediately. These are decisions that become part of your daily routine so they do not require much thought.
• Acknowledge that de-cluttering is an ongoing process: Our homes are designed to hold the things we like and use. However, we often bring in additional items as well, so it’s important to be constantly editing what’s in our home. We need to be deciding what things to keep, deciding where they should be kept, and deciding to put them away. It is not a one-time event. This is a process that requires decisions and effort to make happen.

Take advantage of this National Clutter Awareness Week to look around your home, make some decisions, and enjoy a home where clutter is kept at bay.
© 2021 Beth Giles

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