Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clutter Busting Habits

                                                by Rita Emmett

Our clutter does not come from being messy, lazy or disorganized, it comes from four goofy habits:

Saving things that we never need or use
Insisting on bringing in things that we never need or use
Never deciding on a place for things to be put
Setting things down instead of putting them where they belong

So how about trying to incorporate one new habit to counteract
clutter habits? Here are 21 ideas:

1. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it.
2. Every day, before turning on your computer, toss or put away three things on
    your desk.
3. When you buy 1 thing, get rid of 1 thing. (a toy for a toy, a shoe for a shoe)
4. Glance over your left shoulder every time you leave a room. Pick up the clutter
    you spot and take it with you to where it belongs.
5. Decide now. Clutter is often caused by putting off decisions.
6. Make a place for everything, such as special papers, and each child’s school
    papers. Make a place for mittens, scarves, hats, boots, and so forth.
7. Put everything in its place. Teach your family to put things where they belong.
   (One way to teach: “If everything is where it belongs, you can come with to the
    mall or you can watch TV. If not, you can’t.”)
8. If you take it out, put it back.
9. Ask a “non-clutter friend” to help you sort through your closet or other clutter.
    Some people will be delighted to help you de-clutter. All you need from them is
    help in deciding what to keep or not keep.
10. Take five minutes whenever you can to tackle a small section of clutter (or do
       it during the commercials of the first hour of watching TV).
11. Find a person or organization that will love & cherish your stuff as much as
      you do. That makes it easier to say good-bye to things you don’t use or need.
12. Decide on one place to put your keys (a hook or bowl near the door, a certain
      section of your purse) and cultivate the habit of putting them there always.
13. Live simply so that others might simply live.
14. When you want to buy something – no matter how sensational or adorable it
      is – think if you have a place to put it. Even if it’s the greatest bargain in the
      world, don’t buy it if you don’t have a place for it. What a life changing way to
15. Always open mail next to a wastebasket. Get BIG wastebaskets for every
      place in your home that you need to encourage tossing or recycling paper,
      magazines, catalogues, newsletters, newspapers or other paper clutter.
16. Never leave a room empty-handed until the only things in the room are ones
      that belong there.
17. Never go up or down stairs empty-handed as long as there is something that
      should be taken up or down.
18. Have company over once in a while so the house gets cleaned.
19. Pay bills, fold laundry, sort through catalogues & magazines, and so forth
      during TV commercials or while visiting on the phone.
20. When de-cluttering a room, start at the doorway & go right or left. Then if
      you’re interrupted, you can see where you stopped.
21. Don’t de-clutter & clean the same day. You might keel over, poor thing.

Just making one of these habits a regular part of your day will
impact the amount of clutter in your life.
                                            #  #  #

       Rita Emmett is a "Recovering Procrastinator", a Professional Speaker, and best-selling author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook;  and The Clutter-Busting Handbook.
For more articles on this subject, go to
Rita can be reached at 847-699-9950  or
      To subscribe to her free monthly “Anticrastination Tip Sheet” with quick short tips & ideas to help break the procrastination habit, go to the first page of her website

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