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Don't Get Bit by the Clutterbug!
By Maria Gracia
It starts off as small as a sticky note. Soon, it's a pile of stuff. Then, just when you least expect it, you discover that the clutterbug is running amuck, all over your home and office.
If you don't watch out, you'll get bit. The consequences are stress, lost time, lost productivity, embarrassment, arguments, depression and environmental chaos--just to name a few.
Swat that clutterbug now, and take back control!
- LOOK AROUND.
What damage has the clutterbug already caused? Do you see piles of paper? Are there magazines all over the place? Is your laundry out of control? Do you have 10 times more stuff than what you really need? Consider yourself bitten!
Assess your situation. Make a written list of the specific problem areas. Don't just say, 'everything is disorganized.' That's too difficult a problem to solve. Instead, list things like, 'coffee table has 3 piles of paper on it' or '2 hamper's full of laundry to be washed.'
The clutterbug is strong, and needs to be attacked with very focused efforts. Choose the problem area that bothers you the most, and then focus your time and efforts on that one area. Once that area is taken care of, you can then move on to your next focus area.
Zapp! Clutterbugs are too weak to withstand this focused approach.
- CHECK YOUR FRAME OF MIND.
The clutterbug knows when you're not up to the challenge. If you're thinking about something else, like what your weekend plans are, the clutterbug will gain even more strength. The only words that should be going through your mind are, 'I'm going to get that clutterbug, no matter what it takes!'
By the way, a little bit of bribery helps. Bribe yourself. Promise yourself a nice lunch out, or a visit to a movie you've been meaning to see--WHEN you're done attacking the clutter bug.
- PLAN OF ATTACK.
Be sure you know how to attack the clutterbug. Read organizing books from the experts. Visit organizing forums. Hire someone to help, or ask a family member, friend or associate to assist you.
The clutterbug has a trick he plays on us. He makes our clutter seem insurmountable--too much to tackle at once.
It's easy to outwit the clutterbug, if you simply break your organizing project up into small pieces. For instance, if you want to organize a table full of paper, mentally break that table up into 4 sections (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) and focus on one section at a time.
- DATE OF ATTACK.
Don't think you're going to deal with the clutterbug, 'when you get around to it.' That time rarely comes. Set a specific date, mark it on your calendar, and wake up prepared and ready to fight. By the way, if you attack the clutterbug first thing in the morning, before anything else, he won't have a chance to multiply.
When the scheduled date arrives, play some motivational music, grab all your weapons (trash bags, donation boxes, cleaning sprays, etc.), eliminate distractions (ask someone to watch the kids for you, switch your phone so calls go directly into your answering machine, etc.) and charge right into attacking the clutterbug with all your might.
With a little bit of effort and determination, you should be able to overcome. The clutterbug will put up a good fight, but he's not unbeatable. You can do it!
Every time you overcome the clutterbug in any area of your life, it's time to celebrate! Reward yourself for all of your efforts. Tell the world about your victories. Give yourself a 'chore free' day. Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it!
And watch out . . . don't become complacent. Because the clutterbug always wants to return for a rematch!
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