“We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.” 

Donald Horban

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I wonder what percentage of the population share my ideal of having an uncluttered home or workplace.

I assume that most people prefer an uncluttered environment but don’t know where to start.

Why? Probably because the task is boring and seems daunting

When your home is filled with clutter, trying to tackle a mountain of stuff can be quite overwhelming.

So here’s my advice: start with one area of your home. Baby steps are important. Sure, one area won’t barely make a huge difference, but it’s a start.           

Then tackle another area tomorrow. And another the next day. Before you know it, you’ll have cleared a whole closet or a room and then half your house.

For those who are overwhelmed by their clutter, here are some great ways to get started, one area at a time.

Choose a spot for papers. Papers often account for a lot of our clutter. This is because we put them in different spots; on the counter, on the table, on our desk, in a drawer, on top of our dresser, in our car. No wonder we can’t find anything! Choose an in-box tray or spot in your home (or at your office) and don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot.

Start clearing one area. What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or your kitchen table or your night table in your bedroom. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put away. Once you have that clutter-free zone, keep it that way! Now, each day, slowly expand your no-clutter zone until it envelopes the whole house! Last year, we have renovated our family room and one way that has helped decluttering was to buy as little shelves and storage space as possible. This is one way to avoid accumulating useless stuff.

Clear off a counter. You want to get your house so that all flat spaces are clear of clutter. Maybe they have a toaster on them, maybe a decorative candle, but not a lot of clutter. So start with one counter. Clear off everything possible, except maybe one or two essential things. Clear off all papers and all the other junk you’ve been tossing on the counter too.

Spring cleaning will demand an investment of your personal time. But I believe that we get an excellent return of this investment with peace of mind and the satisfaction of a job well done.

I find that my thinking is always much clearer in clean and uncluttered environment.

There is one exception in my case. In the middle of the creative process, I like things to be all over and mixed up. I like to stumble upon things that at first view wouldn’t mix together. That’s one advantage of a cluttered environment.

For those of you who really hate spring cleaning, I recommend that you put on your favourite music, open a good bottle of wine; it should help to alleviate the pain.

Happy spring cleaning!

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