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By April 1, 2017 No Comments

May I tell you a secret about clutter?

Nobody really wants it, but almost everybody has it! All across America and at all income levels, we seem to passively accept the fact that you just can’t live without clutter. Nothing could be further from the truth! And it is time to take aggressive action.

It is time to discover the less cluttered side of life!

First, we must identify the enemy. Barbara Hemphill, veteran professional organizer, gives us the best definition:


That’s why we have piles of unopened mail, unread magazines, un-filed papers, unfinished projects, and unfolded laundry. We simply do not want to make the necessary decisions. We postpone and procrastinate until all the stars in the universe line up in perfect order. We put off doing anything until we can do everything Pinterest-worthy perfect. Not exactly a great strategy!

Meanwhile, clutter is making itself quite cozy and comfortable in our homes.

Do not underestimate its power. Clutter is deceptive, addictive, and destructive. It may start out with just a few freebies, some garage sale bargains, or maybe a thing or two from that fabulous clearance rack. Add in some extra dishes, books, games, shoes, movies, sports equipment, and travel souvenirs.  Gradually you start to feel rather crowded in your own home and you wonder why.

Asking questions is a very effective strategy for addressing the issue of clutter. In fact, one question in particular brings astonishing results:


If you only ask, “Who needs this?” it is very easy to reply, “Me!” If I have a particular item,  I must need it for some reason for some time, so I will just keep it until that time comes along. However, that does not take into account the fact that you may never need it again. The season and reason for that item is past. Now it is time for someone else to use it and enjoy it.

When you add the words, “more than I do” to the question, you bring the situation into a sharper focus. It really doesn’t take long to think of people who have less than you do and who truly need our items. Every community has numerous worthy charities that will accept and graciously distribute those items.  We are doing them a service by donating items that still are in good condition and simply tossing the items that aren’t in good condition.

We are doing ourselves a favor, too. By honestly asking, “Who needs this more than I do?” we are admitting that we do not need to measure the value of our lives by the quantity of our stuff. It doesn’t really matter if it is cheap stuff or expensive stuff—any kind of stuff gets in the way of the life we really want to live.

Physical clutter, mental clutter, emotional clutter, spiritual clutter—it can fill up our homes, our minds, and our lives. Don’t just passively let it stay. It may be time for an eviction notice!

What clutter items need to leave your home?

P.S. Consider scheduling Organized by Olive’s newest program “Discover the Less Cluttered Side of Life” for your library or community group.  Contact Olive at 937-216-2952 or olive@organizedbyolive.com to reserve your date.


Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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