Friday, July 27, 2007

Clutter, What's That?? Part 2

This if the first of two print articles that I happened to come across recently that deal with the issue of clutter.

Happiness How-to: Freedom from Clutter! First, July 9, 2007

Surrounded by too much stuff? Your best trait could be to blame! Identify the healthy quality behind your hoarding, and read on for the quick fix that will evaporate clutter for good.
One way of thinking about clutter as presented by author Judi Culbertson (The Clutter Cure:
Clutter is a visual representation of chaos...It's both a cause and a sign of stress.
Why you hold on #1: YOU'RE A SOFTIE--also known as a "sentimental saver". These are people that believe that if they discard things they'll lose the related memories. (Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save & How You Can Stop (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Fugen Neziroglu, PhD.)

Solution presented: realize that memories are not dependent on objects so you can toss them guilt free. For a less cluttered trip down memory lane, utilize a digital camera to take pictures of your soon to be discarded items. Or, create a "memory jar" by jotting down a thought about each item then toss in the jar; you keep the memories not the clutter. (The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques for Inviting Serenity into Your Life, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD.)

Why you hold on #2: YOU'RE THRIFTY--you can't throw something away until you feel you've gotten your money's worth.

Solution: must accept that an item isn't going to become useful to you especially after months or years of storage. This opens the door for discarding the item(s).

Why you hold on #3: YOU'RE IN THE KNOW--also know as "instrumental saving" these folks worry that if they toss something, they may be throwing away a crucial piece of information that could change their lives.

ME!!! Altho I am getting much better. My biggest problem is I have a dream of writing for a living and I am an information junkie. One thing I have changed in the last year or so--instead of saving whole newspapers or magazines I just save articles/URLs. A "new" tool I have "discovered" is blogging--by using my blogs to store information for later use, or in case of this blog linking articles both print and online with information I feel is important. My paper clutter has definitely decreased, but more improvement is needed (ie. more time to review the articles I want to "save".)

Solution: Change your thinking from "I'm going to need this..." to "My guess is that..." and finish the sentence with why you may need that item. Using this self-talk makes you realize that your thinking isn't based on fact but "just-in-case- reasoning." Instant access not a necessity: "I am enough. I do not have to be an expert on everything."

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