Shake Things Up with Maria Garcia
According to National Public Radio, the average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s. Yes, that means more space. Just what we all need…right?
Think about this. C. Northcote Parkinson once said, ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ This means that if you’re told to have a project due next week, the project will be finished next week. But if you’re given TWO months time for the same project, then it will likely be two months before it’s completed. The fact is, time pressure forces you to complete a task in the given time. When there’s no pressure attached, you can take all the time in the world to get it done.
We’ll talk about that another day…but using Parkinson’s Law as a base idea for this issue, in relation to clutter, I say, “Clutter expands to fill the space available for its storage.” I guess you can now call that Gracia’s Clutter Law. Hey, it’s kind of fun coming up with laws.
At any rate, what I mean is, if you have a tiny space, only so much clutter will fit into it. The more space you have, the more clutter you can potentially stuff in.
Whether you have a tiny home or a mansion, clutter can creep in, grow, and expand wall-to-wall. Your job is to be sure your STUFF doesn’t take up your LIVING SPACE… and that your possessions you do have in your home are worthy of taking up any space they’re occupying.
Here are three ways to clear the clutter and take back possession of your space.
One In-Three Out
For every one new possession you bring into your home, three must leave.
Act Like You’re Moving
Pick a room. Pack everything up in a box, or two, or three…whatever it takes. I’m serious. Everything. For the next two weeks, the rule is you can take 3 items out of the box each day…but only three. By the end of the two weeks, you’ll have removed 42 items. These are your most important items. The others are all candidates for you to donate or sell.
Host a ‘Good-bye Clutter Ceremoney’ each night
Gather your family. Every person must grab one item he or she no longer needs or loves. Meet at the dining room table, each person places the item in the middle of the table saying a few words about that said item (For example: ‘This is my English textbook from 17 years ago. I haven’t opened it once. I’ve held onto it because I had dreams about conjugating verbs in the future, but alas, that dream has passed.’) After every person has had a turn, bag those items up, everybody bows, and the bag is then placed in the car to be dropped off at a favorite charity or in your Garage Sale ‘To Sell’ area.
Yes, these may all sound a bit dramatic, but sometimes we all need a bit of drama in our lives to shake things up!
Thanks for sharing with us, Maria Garcia!!
Used with permission.
Nationally recognized certified organizer, speaker and author, Kathy Jenkins is dedicated to helping her clients simplify their lives by reducing clutter, organizing their homes and offices, and managing their time. She is the President of Come To Order, a professional residential organizing company based in Richmond, Virginia. For more tips, click here to follow Kathy on Facebook.