We all have stuff. Stuff we need, stuff we use, stuff we love*. Stuff.
(*if anyone can tell me who crafted the ‘Need, Use, Love’ criteria, I would love to know!)
Sometimes we have stuff we don’t need or use or love, and then our Stuff turns into Clutter.
Perhaps you have Stuff that you do need and use, but it is scattered around the house. In the way, on surfaces, in bags, on top of other things. In this case, your Stuff becomes visual clutter. We know we need to keep it, but it still drives us crazy.
Your Stuff needs an AWAY.
- to take good care of our Stuff so we don’t have to buy our Stuff again;
- so we can find our Stuff again when we need it; and
- to give our eyes a break and our homes a breath of clean and fresh air.
- If you have look around your home and notice piles of Stuff, we first ask – is that Stuff or Clutter? If it’s Stuff, it needs an AWAY. If it’s Clutter it needs to be purged.
- We need to establish an AWAY for our Stuff that is convenient to where we use our Stuff. Obviously, we keep cooking and food items in the kitchen. But we can be more specific, as in, keeping the coffee cups in the cabinet above the coffee maker which is also right next to the sink.
- We also need to establish an AWAY that is convenient for the other related Stuff that goes with our Stuff. So, in the coffee analogy, I might also keep the cream and sugar near the coffee maker and mugs, and the travel mugs nearby, too.
- An AWAY for our stuff helps us decide about quantity. For example: to me, one large dresser drawer full of t-shirts is a reasonable amount. So, when I put my clean laundry AWAY and the drawer is too full (perhaps a recent shopping trip?), the boundaries of the drawer remind me of a reasonable t-shirt collection size, and I purge a few.
- When we have a reliable AWAY and habit around putting our Stuff AWAY, we can check the AWAY location to determine if we need to buy more of our Stuff. Again, using the coffee analogy, when the KCup holder (the AWAY) is empty, I know it is time to buy more KCups. Imagine if I randomly stashed KCups all over the kitchen. I wouldn’t know what I have, nor would I use it very well when I needed it.
- Consider this idea from the other direction – If your stuff doesn’t have a home – an AWAY – it’s likely clutter.
- Decide what is Stuff and what is Clutter;
- establish an AWAY for your Stuff;
- establish good habits around putting your Stuff AWAY,
- so you can take good care of your Stuff and enjoy a less cluttered home .