How do you handle clutter? - 1

Handling clutter is an important skill to master. Clutter comes in the way of everything you do; Time, energy, money, and opportunity can get lost in a clutter.

I have created a process flow to handle clutter. The diagram is self explanatory, once you understand the definitions of the various terms used.


Clutter: Anything that can get deposited all over your house.

Loose items: These are items that can be moved from one place to another-Example: Paper, pens, books, magazines, jewellery, watches, photographs, wires, stationary items, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo bottles, nail cutter---. These items can, easily, get lost.

Fixed items: These are relatively fixed items in your house-Example: Tables, Chairs, Sofa, Beds, Paintings on the wall, TV, Refrigerator, ---. These items cannot get lost but still may cause clutter.

Value: An item is said to be valuable if it belongs to the following categories:

  1. Expensive items: These are your watches, jewellery, chinaware, diamonds, Nikon D 80 Digital SLR camera, Camcorder, ---. They cost money and are precious to you.

  2. Daily usage items: These are items you cannot do without, day in day out. You need to have them near to be functional-Toothbrush, toothpaste, pens, laptops, shirts, trousers, ties, watches, ---

  3. Nostalgic items: These are items that are very precious to you, as they evoke pleasant memories of the past. You want to preserve them carefully-Your father's letters, the sweater your mother knitted for you, photographs, the greeting cards, your wife gave you over the years, your daughter's little gifts to you, since her childhood---.

  4. Contextual items: These are items that you need on a daily basis or at least on an immediate basis depending on the changing situations you encounter-Winter clothes, snow boots, your certificates, party wear, ---. You don't need these on a daily basis but you would like to have them, instantly, if you suddenly need them when the context and situation dictates that you need them.

Now you are ready to study the process flow and understand it.

It is very useful to apply this process flow and classify your items; You can, then, begin to organize them.

Those that you require daily need to be stored in an area that is near, easily accessible and is constantly known to you. Each item need to have a specific home to "stay put" in.

Those that you do not need on a regular, daily basis need to have a remote, accessible, known, home to be in.

The junk, of course, need to be thrown away.

The horror of clutter unfolds when all these value category items get mixed and spread all over your house along with the junk that get intermingled to create the confusion and distress.

Stay tuned for further posts on the principles of organizing to live a clutter free life.

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