Earlier this week here on the blog, we took a look at four ways to begin to remove some of the clutter from out of our lives and spaces (click here to go back and check out that post).
Today, I’d like to share with you a few keys to help you answer this question:
How can I keep clutter from returning into my life and my space once I’ve finally removed it?
Here are two keys to help you to do just that:
1. Give things a designated home.
The primary reason that we struggle with clutter is homelessness.
Whenever our treadmills turn into clothes hangers, or our sofas become bookshelves, or the inside of our cars look more like a trash can than they do a car, it’s because we’ve failed to designate a proper “home” for things.
For example, once you designate your bookshelf as the new “home” for all of your books, it becomes much easier to notice when you have a book floating around your home or office that’s homeless. The key to remaining clutter free is to simply return that “homeless” book to its proper home.
By designating your laundry hamper as the new “home” for all of your dirty clothes, you’re more likely to experience a “cringe factor” that will come as you begin to notice a “homeless” piece of clothing lying in the middle of the floor.
At the end of each day or week, simply ask yourself this question…
“Am I allowing the things in my life and space to exist outside of their designated home?”
If your answer is yes, work to restore those things to their proper place.
2. Protect and maintain original functions.
Let’s say that you block some time out one weekend to clean and vacuum out your car.
How can you ensure that once you’re finished you keep it from soon becoming cluttered all over again?
The answer: protect and maintain the original functions of your car.
Here’s an example of what I mean…
The original function of your car’s front passenger seat is to carry other passengers.
Once your passenger seat becomes cluttered with books, trash, clothes, etc., passengers are no longer able to sit down in your passenger seat…in other words you’ve lost the original function of that seat.
The key then to keeping the inside of your car clutter free is to simply ask yourself:
“Has the inside of my car begun to lose its original function (i.e., to carry other passengers)?”
If so, begin to remove anything that hinders you or others from accessing it.
The fact of the matter is that clutter is a problem that we all will have to deal with in our lives at one time or another!
But by exercising patience, diligence, and a little hard work, we can all begin to organize our lives and space and begin to reap the benefits that come as we begin to bring our lives into order.
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