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10 Tips for Controlling Clutter

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10 Tips for Controlling Clutter

“It’s not the tragedies that kill us, it’s the messes.” –Dorothy Parker

Modern Americans face more choices in one trip to the grocery store than our grandparents faced in their entire lifetimes. All that freedom of choice is reflected in most of our homes, littered with more furnishings and gadgets than we need or want. Stuff is a major impediment to becoming wabi, and it’s one of the hardest ones to break through. Most of us have been programmed to acquire more, more and more from the time we could speak. It’s how our economies roll.

“We live in a world overflowing with our own productions, a world in which objects besiege us, suffocate us, and very often distance us from one another both physically and mentally,” Italian designer Claudia Dona wrote in 1988. “They make us forget how to feel, to touch, to think.”

Take a good look around your house. Chances are, you have more stuff than you need. Are you okay with having a TV in every room (how did that happen?) or the glass duck collection that got totally out of hand? Do you need those sweaters that might fit again some day or the wild-haired, legless Barbies languishing in their own messy Barbie houses? You know, deep down, that the clutter you’ve parked in your home is as destructive to your well being as the constant buzz of a nearby highway. The thought of actually doing something about it, however, is paralyzing.

Your home doesn’t have to be prison-like or monkish, completely without ornament or whimsy. It simply shouldn’t be suffused with extraneous details. Clutter smudges clarity, both physically and metaphorically. Things you’re holding onto because they were expensive, because they were gifts from your mother-in-law, or because you might need them some day are all just getting in your way. In a wabi-sabi home, space and light are the most desirable ornaments.

Next: 10 tools for controlling clutter

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Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Feng Shui & Organizing, Health, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Self-Help, , , , , , , , , ,

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Robyn Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Magazine, an eco-lifestyle magazine that bridges spa wisdom with green living. Through print, online and phone apps, Organic Spa Magazine offers expert advice and inspiration on sustainable health and wellness, beauty and skin care, fashion and travel. 


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10:35AM PDT on Jul 27, 2013


2:55PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Clutter is my number 1 enemy in life. I owned 5 properties and 2 stores, before moving to our new house, and by the time I had sold all of them I had so much leftover furniture and stuff that 4 extra-large storage buildings couldn't contain it all. I've whittled it down, over 12 years, but I still have way too much stuff that isn't suitable for our house but it too good to give away now that it is hard to claim donations of items on our taxes.

1:46PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012


11:19AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Apply 5 "S"

11:44AM PST on Jan 22, 2012


5:00AM PST on Jan 18, 2012


10:09PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Been working on the clutter. Thanks for the help.

12:42PM PST on Jan 17, 2012


10:36PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

The three things on a surface has changed my life for the better. If you need to you can always put a bunch of things into a basket with a lid and then by magic it's only one thing. Try this it really helps clear your mind to live with some empty space!

1:41AM PST on Jan 13, 2012

The article says, "Allow only three items on each surface." Boy, do I have some pulling to do.
I need to get some boxes and maybe have a big yard sale.

But, some things are just so hard to let go of when the person who gave them to you has passed on.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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