Clutter is a collection of things lying about in an untidy mess – and it’s also a delayed decision. Are you blind to clutter? If you often find things piling up over a period of time and you’re always too busy to put them away or throw them out, you might be blind to clutter.
You need to decide whether these messy things belong in your home or not and whether it’s time to get serious about decluttering. Once you’ve decided what stays and what should be thrown away, only then that you can be clutter free.
Clutter comes in two main forms, physical and emotional, but let’s focus on the physical clutter because this is the easiest one to fix!
If being organized will help you deal with the clutter, we’ve got some tips.
Categorize your physical clutter into groups:
- Things that are just plain rubbish waiting to be thrown out like broken items, out of date items and things that are no longer used.
- Items that belong to someone else.
- Things that are not useful or were purchased by mistake like unwanted gifts, old things in your home that can be recycled or donated to the needy.
Once you have recognized clutter in your home, then you will able to start decluttering and redeem the spaces in your house. A clean and orderly environment makes one feel in control and it’s also a great way to get ready for the new year and feel refreshed in your home or office space. Even people who thrive on a bit of chaos tend to have their limits and enjoy some form of orderliness.
But what if you or someone you know is oblivious to clutter? This group of people doesn’t seem to see clutter at all. Just as some people are color blind, these folks can be called clutter blind. People are creatures of habit and if they get used to clutter, then they don’t see it anymore.
Clutter blindness is defined as a person’s inability to see the clutter in front of them. The person can see or perceive that there are unwanted items collecting in an area, but their mind just simply ignores the mess.
How to Know If You’re Clutter Blind?
There are some signs to figure out if you’re clutter blind. These include:
- A high tolerance for piled clutter – If you have the ability to walk around piles of old newspapers, magazines, a sink full of dirty dishes and have nothing left to wear because your hamper is overflowing with dirty clothes, then you’re clutter blind. Well, it doesn’t mean that you’re not bothered with it, but you just simply get used to it and there is no urgency to clean the mess up.
- You tend to do things “later” – You are no stranger to procrastination especially when it comes to cleaning and tidying.
- Your home is a stress zone – When your home has turned into a long list of to-do things that constantly hit you in the face, then there is a clutter blindness issue. You feel overwhelmed, burdened by all the clutter, then there’s an issue that needs to be fixed. When you look around your house, it’s the exact opposite of what you expect or want your home to be.
- When things aren’t where they should be – One issue with clutter blindness is when you have no idea where an item should be stored or kept. If someone asks you “where does this go?” and you answer is “just put it anywhere”, then you have clutter blindness.
How to De-clutter and Stop Being Clutter Blind
The first thing you need to do is to realize and accept that you are clutter blind. How? Take some pictures inside your home and you’ll be surprised at what you see. If you’re somewhat removed from the situation, you will realize that you have too much going on around your house than you think.
Looking at the pictures should help you get over the shock and encourage you to take action before you get buried in your own clutter. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but once you have accomplished what you need to do, you’ll have a sense of satisfaction and you’ll be living a more organized life.
Start with Small and Focused Decluttering
You can’t win this battle if you do it in one go. Set a plan and target specific areas that you’ll declutter, clean up and organize over a period of time. Stick to the plan so that you’ll not tire yourself out.
For example, start with one room for say 30 minutes to an hour, then take a rest and then follow with another portion of your house and so on. If you feel tired and think you’ve done enough for one day, schedule another day for the remaining clutter. Doing this will prevent any frustration.
Utilities On One Side, Sentimental Things on The Other
People get attached to things, especially if you have them for a long time or represent the sweat and tears you put into making the money to buy them. It’s normal, but when you want to declutter you have to set aside your feelings and be practical.
Ask yourself “what does this item do for me that nothing else does?”, “do I have something that does it better?” and “does it have sentimental value?”
You need to keep items that are practical and of sentimental value, but there is such a thing as too much! Choose carefully.
Separate your clutter into 4 boxes: Keep, Sell and Donate, Trash and Store.
- Keep – These are the items that you use regularly and have space for.
- Sell and donate – These are the things that you can make money from or donate to your preferred charity.
- Trash – Things that you need to throw out or recycle.
- Store – These are the things that you can’t part with but don’t play much of a role in your life. They will be kept but only if you have available space or storage.
You need to be organized and you also need to change your habits. Don’t be an impulse buyer and if ever you’re buying something, think of where you’ll put it.
Be logical and be mindful that the things you add to your home or office should be things you need and love.
What tips have you found useful for managing your clutter blindness?