This afternoon I got a phone call from a friend who was drowning. Inher living room. And in her kitchen and bedroom, the truth be told. Theculprit? Clutter. She called me in a moment of desperation because herhouse, she feared, was closing in on her.
Have you ever felt that way?
I take my clutter policing job seriously. I tried to talk my friendthrough the process of identifying the causes of her clutter problem.As it turns out, she does not have enough dressers for her growingfamily—clothing winds up on the floors. She needs to throw away sometoys that her children no longer play with. And she could use a coupleof bookcases to hold the boxes full of books her husband is emotionallyattached to.
It’s quite simple, really: Stuff piles up if we let it. Cluttersaps us of our energy and makes us feel powerless and out of control.Few things have the power to turn an otherwise cheerful woman into aStressed-Out Super-Crab quite like a house filled with messy piles ofjunk does.
It’s just stuff, I say. Get rid of it. Easier said than done, right? One helpful resource is Flylady.net.I once interviewed the FlyLady for a housecleaning article I wrote andI can tell you, this woman is the real deal. She’s a fully recoveredformer clutterbug whose heart is filled with compassion for those whosuffer with “stuff” as she once did.
I particularly like the FlyLady’s suggestion of doing a daily 27 Fling Boogie:“Take a garbage bag and walk through your home and throw away 27items,” she says. “Do not stop until you have collected all 27 items.Then close the garbage bag and pitch it. DO NOT LOOK IN IT!!! Just doit.” Now that’s my kind of lady.
So how about you? Are you a packrat? Are you a heartlessthrower-awayer? How do you control clutter? What kinds of things do youdo to streamline and simplify your home? How do you encourage yourfamily to do the same?