We all deal with clutter, believe it or not. Yes, even that friend with the spotless home. She doesn’t appear to have clutter because she deals with clutter before it takes over her office, home — and life.
But what about the rest of us, with overflowing closets, ready-to-topple piles of magazines or bottles or spices spread over three cupboards?
The key is to tackle your decluttering step-by-step. A woman I know swears by the Wood Theory. It goes like this:
Facing a daunting load of wood that needed to be stored in her basement, she committed herself to toting one — and only one — piece of wood to the basement every time she had to go to the basement for another reason (to unload her washer, for example).
A whole load of wood is daunting. But one piece of wood isn’t. It’s not even that heavy.
Little by little, and painlessly, the load of wood got smaller. And smaller. Until it was gone from her yard and stacked in her basement.
Hmmm, she thought, if the Wood Theory works for wood, it can work for other tasks. Dust one slat of the blinds before going to pick up the kids at school, and the blinds are soon dusted, for example. It’s harder to avoid a small task that takes minutes — or even seconds — than it is to carve out the time to finish the entire job in one long, back-breaking session.
Here are five chores that are worth tackling the Wood-Theory way:
1.Never miss a birthday: Write one card per night while you’re watching a post-dinner rerun of your favorite show and you’ll soon have all your birthday cards for the year signed, sealed and ready to be delivered
2.Streamline your closet: Line a cardboard box with a plastic bag and place it in your closet to hold donations. Every morning when you’re getting dressed, choose one item for the box. When the box is full, take the bag and drop it off at a roadside donation bin. Repeat until the job is done
3.Scour your bathroom: After you brush your teeth, chose one area of the bathroom to clean (wash the tub or change the towels, for example). Once the room’s clean, start all over again.
4.Organize your spices: When you run the dishwasher, choose one spice container to fill, re-shelve (in alphabetical order, of course) or toss. Your spices will be organized in no time! Consider using a drawer insert to keep spices neatly together and easy to grab when you’re cooking.
5.End magazine mayhem: While you’re watching TV, keep handy a kit with scissors, a three-ring binder, page protectors, label tabs, a plastic bag and a pile of magazines. Flip through one or two issues at a time, cutting out the pages that have articles you want to keep. Put the pages in the protectors and file them in the binder, using the label tabs to separate them by category. Then bag the leftovers for recycling
Clutter doesn’t have to seem daunting. By taking small steps and applying the wood-theory, you can accomplish big tasks in no time!