By Hillary Haenes
Next time your mind feels bogged down and overwhelmed with clutter in your home, at the office, or if your spirit needs lifting, consider these 12 tips to alleviate clutter in your life.
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Being around happy people will lift your spirits and put you in a cheerful mood.
2. Go ahead, and do what you love. Eliminate other people’s negativity in your life. Don’t let depressing comments and judgments interfere in your environment.
3. Be generous. Donate or give books, clothes and household items to friends or family who may need them. These are things you are finished with and can be passed on to others.
4. Start with small, manageable chunks. If perfecting organization in your kitchen seems unattainable, or even deciding which wedding gifts to return seems quite difficult, start with something less stressful, like sorting your silverware and utensil drawers. Spend 15 minutes tossing unwanted items and continue this the next day.
5. Establish a what is of value. You need to distinguish between old family photos and mementos that no longer have value such as yellowed newspaper clippings you have no idea were saved. Put as many treasured items in one box and get rid of the other “stuff” collecting dust.
6. Dispose of closet clutter. If you haven’t worn a pair of Jimmy Choos that were so five years ago, chances are you won’t in the future. So toss them! Have a yard sale, visit a consignment shop or Goodwill and get rid of any clothes, shoes and accessories you haven’t worn in over a year that are just collecting dust in your closet.
MIND OVER MATTER
7. Plan. Think about the last time you used or wore an item and what the likelihood is of using it within the next year.
8. Simplify. If you are keeping items “just in case,” remember that you can always purchase another one if you need it again.
9. Live in the present day. Most people’s hoarding issues stem from what one “wants to have” or “fears he/she will need to have” in the future.
IN THE OFFICE
10. Underschedule. Unclutter your calendar. This means don’t book as many meetings, social gatherings or personal appointments. Instead, allow yourself more time to relax in your clean and organized home.
11. Finish what you start. Keep your projects under control by starting one at a time and complete it before moving on to the next. You can multitask, but don’t overwhelm yourself with various unfinished work.
12. Manage messy desk piles. Everything should have a place. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it! Organize your messy desk by putting papers in file folders, store pens and highlighters in a holder and arrange other office supplies neatly in containers inside desk drawers.
Sources: “Unclutter Your Life: Transforming Your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Space” by Katherine Gibson; O The Oprah Magazine issue March 2012