Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Clutter-Busting Handbook

book cover - The Clutter-Busting Handbook

As I resume my effort to clear my own bookshelves, I’m sharing some of the wisdom I found in the books I’m passing along. Today, one of those books is The Clutter-Busting Handboook, by Rita Emmett.

Let’s start with an interesting statistic. This book was published in 2005, so it’s probably a bit dated:
According to the Avery newsletter Great Results, the average three-bedroom house today contains approximately 350,000 items.
Want to reduce the number of things in your home? Rita talks about the plateaus we can hit when decluttering, caused by our tendency to procrastinate when it comes to making decisions:
1. The “Will I Keep This?” Plateau: “I can’t decide whether I want to keep this or not. So I’ll set it down here for just a minute and I’ll decide later.”

2. The “Where Will I Put This?” Plateau: “Well, I’ve decided that I am going to keep this, but now I can’t decide where to keep it, so I’ll set it down here for just a minute and I’ll decide later.” 
Or the equally insidious “How Will I Get Rid of This?” Plateau: “Well, I’ve decided that I’m not going to keep this, but now I can’t decide how to get rid of it. So I’ll set it …”
Rita also talks about helping children declutter:
Children feel just as overwhelmed with clutter as we do, but they don’t know what to do about it. ... To help them de-clutter their rooms is one of the kindest gifts you can give them.
And finally, Rita reminds us why it’s so important to declutter:
To be clutter-free gives you not only more physical space but also more emotional space. When you are surrounded by confusion, you feel confused; when you are surrounded by junk, you feel junky. Clutter can sabotage goals and dreams. There is a definite connection between clutter and a person’s feelings of self-worth.

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