Tamara Mannelly

Get Clutter Free with the Clutter Trap - www.ohlardy.com
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Stuff. Stuff. Stuff.

We all have so much stuff leading to clutter everywhere!

We can’t stop buying and collecting stuff!  We keep all kinds of papers and emails and knick knacks and old clothes that don’t fit us anymore.  American homes are getting larger but are still filled with clutter!

Did you know…

A 2008 survey by the National Association of Professional Organizers showed some startling numbers:

    • 65% of respondents admitted that their household was at least moderately DISORGANIZED.
    • 75% said their QUALITY OF LIFE WOULD IMPROVE if they were better organized.
    • 96% indicated that they could SAVE TIME every day by becoming more organized.  (The Clutter Trap)

Clutter can be detrimental to your well being as it can cause constant stress.  I know I feel stressed when things are cluttered which is why I have been on a mission the past few months to declutter my house and my computer.  (My husband wishes I would declutter my car…oh well!)

According to Robin Konie, author of The Clutter Trap:

Clutter costs money. It devalues our home. It takes up valuable space—both physically and mentally. Clutter sucks our time and keeps us from doing the things we want to do. It’s a distraction and a source of continual stress. (The Clutter Trap)

You need to get your clutter under control for your own health and wellness.

I hate clutter.  I am a fairly clean and organized person, but even for me, clutter can take over my life at times!

This fall, I hired a professional organizer to come into my house and help me deal with my office.  I think of myself as an organized person but papers, files, photos, etc all overwhelm me!  Well, as we worked on the office, we moved to the kitchen, which led to the basement, which led to the upstairs hall closet…which led to the rest of the house.

At first I thought I was going to have to make an expensive trip to the Container Store to, you know, ‘get organized’.  The organizer laughed with me!  She said people are always buying stuff to store their stuff…instead of just getting rid of it!  That was mind blowing to me!  I should get rid of the stuff!!!

But, what about the memories?  Robin breaks that down:

Real memories come from the people, places, and events—not the stuff. When we focus on living a life full of continuing experiences we can let go of the things that simply take up space. (The Clutter Trap)

Well, isn’t that the truth!  Organizing my home was one of the best things I have done in a long time!  My house feels fresher, my mind feels clearer!  I got rid of gobs of items I didn’t need anymore and organized the ones I did need.  I don’t feel stressed about all piles and disorganization anymore.  I can find things quickly and easily because I know exactly where they are and don’t have to weed through a bunch of clutter to get to it.

Robin’s book, The Clutter Trap gives all of the hints and tricks that I learned with my professional organizer!  It is such a great resource if you are you interested in living clutter free?   Robin has learned how to be clutter free and gives great tips for how to make it work for you!

She says:

Being able to let go of the stuff you don’t need and organize the things you do will be one of the most empowering things you ever do. It will give you more time, money, space, and mental energy to make the most of your life. I’ve seen too many people weighed down by clutter, and it’s my hope to help others escape the cycle. Living clutter free has blessed my family in so many ways and I know it will bless yours, too. (The Clutter Trap)

One of the parts I loved about her book is where she talks about WHY people keep stuff, keep clutter.  What is their ‘Clutter Profile’?

had never really thought about that before.  I mean, I understood the ‘holding on to memories’ type person, but what were the others.

She outlines 4 clutter profiles:

1.  I’m Too Busy

This one is the one I relate to the most.  The person with the huge to do list, tons of projects going on and just doesn’t have time to sort through the clutter!  This was actually why I hired the organizer to help with my office.  I just got so busy and overwhelmed I didn’t know where to begin!  Getting rid of clutter and organizing can actually free up time so you can relax and not run around like a chicken with their head cut off!!

2.  I Spent Good Money

These people hold onto their stuff because they ‘might need it later’ and don’t want to ‘waste money’.  These people might even spend more money on storage fees than the items are worth!  Or they think they are saving it for their kids…who will not want it anyway.  I know a few people like this.  You know what happens usually…Most people hold on to stuff and NEVER use it again!  Does that sound familiar?

3.  Save the Memories

We do like to have our ‘memories’.  This type of profile is very sentimental and holds on to stuff for nostalgic reasons.  It is fun to travel down memory lane looking at pictures, trinkets, old programs….But how much is too much?  How about saving a few ‘memories’ and ditching the rest.  Or taking photos of them and making a photo book?  Why not get out there and make new memories instead of hanging on to the old ones!

4.  Shiny and New

This is the person who loves a good deal, loves the newest gadget, the newest clothes.  Often buys new things that are duplicates of things they already own.  It is that whole ‘more things’ will give me happiness mentality.

Which profile are you?

I think I am a mix of “I’m Too Busy”, “Shiny and New” with a little “Save the Memories”.  I don’t have the “I Spent Good Money” mentality . Usually, when I am ready to purge, I can let go and understand that whatever money I spent is gone and it is time to move on!

I find being decluttered to be stress reducing, freeing and time saving.  I know where things are now in my house.  I can find files, papers, lightbulbs, bedsheets all within a moment.  Of course, I have more work to do, and will probably do another purge/reorganization in the spring.  But I have made tremendous strides and it feels great!

BONUS TIP!!!  She will also give you her “INBOX ZERO” tip which has completely changed my life!  I have 4 different email address and my inboxes were a great cause of stress!  Now I have a clean inbox and a very simple organizational system to keep that inbox from getting out of control!!!

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Tamara MannellyHave a Clutter Free Home in 15 Minutes a Day!

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