How to de-clutter your life: Step 1

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Are you a clutter-rebutter? If so, you probably respond to the sound of jaw-hitting-ground when someone sees your office, home or car with one of these convincing gems:

I know where everything is.
Then where’s that great magazine article you saved? Your left tennis shoe? The cat you were minding for the neighbors?

Creative people need mess.
Did we miss your last exhibition?

Name anything and I’ll find it!
We’ll let you know when they invent that scintillating game show.

Having a place for everything and everything in its place isn’t for everyone, but having everything all over the place is unlikely to prove an effective happiness strategy either.

Here’s why:

  • If you have clutter in your home, office, glove-box or computer, it takes you longer to find anything – you waste time.
  • If you can’t find the remote-control, hamster or family heirloom then you have to buy another – you waste money.
  • If you have too much stuff you forget what you do have and lose the chance to use and enjoy it – you waste opportunity.
  • If you keep seeing clutter it’s a constant reminder that you need to clear it, causing frustration and irritation that achieves nothing – you waste energy.

In other words, impedimenta – mindless, lifeless things – become a despot over your time, money and happiness.

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

If you’ve ever:

  • Missed an appointment because the reminder card was trapped under magazines hyping shoulder pads and New Romantic bands –
  • Bought a second copy of Tchotchkes for Dummies because you mangled the first extracting it from an overstuffed drawer –
  • Been offered a contract to open your house as an eBay showroom –

Then it’s time to quit clutter-rebutting and admit you’ve fallen under the tyranny of stuff. You needn’t go from Oscar to Felix overnight, but to conquer clutter it helps to admit that superfluous stuff is moving you crap-ward on the happy-to-crappy scale.

If you’d like to re-claim your happiness from under all that stuff, then make a note to check back here soon for Step 2.

If you can find a pen.

Step 2: Purge

Step 3: The secret to staying clutter-free: OCI-OGO

By Michele Connolly

Choose to be happier – and you will be.

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