Why do you have clutter? Despite our best intentions, every house you walk into will have some clutter—even if it’s artfully arranged behind the closed doors of a closet or tucked away in a junk drawer. And, just because it's not visible doesn't mean it isn't slowly and steadily causing stress.
1. You Don't Know What Clutter Is
Many people might just not know what clutter is. Some "stuff" truly is clutter that should be thrown out; some stuff is very valuable but has taken the form of clutter because it is not being properly stored or was bought and never used.
2. You Are Not Sure How Long to Keep Things
This is a huge area of confusion in many households. How do you know when to toss, shred, donate or sell an item if you don't know how long you should keep it? Ginny Snook Scott, Chief Organizing Officer for California Closets says, "Many people have no methodology of when and where to let go of things."
3. You Don't Know How to Store Things
Hot on the heels of not knowing how long to keep things, is not knowing how to store things properly. If you're not sure how to store something, it tends to end up as clutter by default: lazy around the house and being tripped over at the most inopportune moments. Or worse, hiding when you need it.
4. You Are Not Using Clutter Busters
Trays, bins, baskets, jars, and hooks are all excellent clutter busters because they take one-off items like pieces of mail, remote controls, cooking utensils or toiletries and make them look organized.
5. You Buy Too Much "Stuff" You Don't Need
Aspirational clutter is stuff you only aspire to use but ends up cluttering up your home.
- You take one painting class and buy an easel and a set of brushes.
- You take one cooking class and run out to buy a wok and all of the accessories.
Stop buying! If you think you might like to become a painter or a gourmet cook, great, but stick to it for a few months before you fill your home with a new hobby's accouterments.
6. You Don't Know How to Let It Go
Letting go—especially of sentimental items—is a big part of decluttering.
You don’t want to be a clutter bug, it just kind of happens. The best defense against clutter is to educate yourself about why you accumulate possessions. Once you're more aware, it may be easier to remove unnecessary objects from your home and workspace