I read an article recently that outlined how clutter can add substantially to your day-to-day stress levels. I’ve always known that but I certainly didn’t know that an About.com survey had found that one-third of respondents admitted they avoided spending time at home so that they didn’t have to deal with their mess nor that Americans spend a mind-blowing nine million hours every day looking for things they cannot find.
Can you imagine wasting so much time on stuff?
I certainly can’t and it isn’t because I am a neat freak. It’s because I don’t want to give stuff more attention than it is due. I’d rather be out enjoying my garden or spending time with special people. Here are some quick organsing tips for things we use or keep that needn’t cause you any more stress.
Old magazines and photographs:
Magazines can pile up very quickly so try to cut out what you want, if you’re keeping them for referencing purposes, and categorise them into files or keep whole magazines categorise into individual magazine baskets. Scanning the articles is also an option as this takes no physical space but you will still have access to them.
The same can be done for photographs however storage could be in small cardboard boxes with see-through lids or in individual plastic containers per event, year or person.
Sensitive paper statements:
Archiving your paperwork should be done once a year and properly stored either in portable filing cases or well-labeled archive boxes. For paperwork that is no longer required, mobile shredding companies can collect it from your home or office to be properly disposed of. If you aren’t keen to spend money on getting documents shredded however, you can also place them into a large bucket of water which will spread the ink and make them very easy to tear.
Many people hold onto old equipment because they do not know what to do with it and that really isn’t a good enough excuse. Nowadays you can throw so-called ‘e-waste’ at recycling points within your municipality or there are companies that can be contacted that will collect it for recycling. If you cannot find one in your area, place photos of the items onto Social Media platforms or classified sites advertising that the item can be collected for free. There are some individuals or companies out there who may want old equipment for parts and will gladly take them off your hands.
Clothes and shoes:
If your cupboard is bulging at the hinges and begging you for a reprieve, then it is probably time sort through it. Be ruthless and throw out the shoes with the peepholes and the clothes that fit you two diets ago. Cupboard ‘purging’ should be done twice a year at least. My favourite trick is to put bright sticker onto my items of clothing which I take off when I wear the item. If, after six months, the sticker is still on, then you know you really aren’t using the item. Storage of large coats or seasonal clothing can also be vacuum packed to make space in your cupboard.
With the expansion of online classified platforms many people are trying to sell items online for extra money. Even if do this however I have been told by many charities that they are now desperate for old clothing and household goods to sell in charity shops in order to raise funds. My advice is therefore to pay it forward. Find out about your local charities and rather donate what you can.
Old letters and memorabilia:
I have kept old letters and memorabilia very carefully in a cardboard box for years and occasionally I go through the box and find something to throw out that no longer holds meaning for me. Any fabric I keep (like my kids’ baby clothes) is wrapped in tissue paper and is stored in large plastic containers with mothballs. If you do not store and organise your memorabilia properly it will perish so invest the time and money to do this properly.
Does it add value?
I could go on and on about every aspect of your life that can easily (and effectively) be organised however, if the desire to continue to have your life ruled by stuff outweighs the effort it will take to organise it, then I have one question for you? “How does your stuff add value to your life?”
Mobile Shredding companies:www.shredit.co.za
Donation points / ideas:www.forgood.co.za