Sage advice from anti-clutter guru Peter Walsh.
Why are we such a mess?
In the last 30 years, the size of the average American house has doubled while the size of the average American family has halved. It's not that we don't have enough space; we have too much stuff. Our culture says, "One is good, two is better," so stuff keeps coming into our homes - but very little goes out.
What does our stuff say about us?
Clutter does one of two things: It keeps you in the past or it keeps you in the future. You're never fully experiencing the here and now. Grandma's china, your college term papers - they represent your family history, your blood, sweat, and tears. But the memories are separate from the stuff. You don't need to hold on to them like a life raft.
What's the biggest mistake we make when trying to get organized?
I met a woman who bought an entire supply of Rubbermaid containers at a liquidation sale. Now, she has a house full of clutter and a garage full of Rubbermaid. Organization is not about organizing for its own sake. Get rid of the superfluous stuff and determine that what's left is key to the life you want.
What's one thing every woman can do today to de-junk her home?
Walk around your house with two trash bags. Fill one bag with garbage and the other with items to give away. Two bags a day for a week? That's a massive dent.
What three things should we do every day to stay organized?
If you get it out, put it away. If you finish it, replenish it. If you open it, close it.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.