Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Go on a Clutter Diet and Shed Pounds (of junk)

Judy, one of my fellow staff members, purchased the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication titled, “Storage: Get Organized Today” which has the enticing message on the front “Second Printing - Back by Popular Demand!” One of the items listed on the cover to be found inside, in fact the first item listed, is “One-Hour Clutter Cutters.” This was the reason that Judy purchased the magazine at the princely sum of $6.99. She combed the contents and thumbed through the magazine but never found an article on One-Hour Clutter Cutters so she gave it over to me for our de-clutter club. I too dug through the contents for some time trying to locate this holy grail of de-cluttering advice. Finally, I found it! In the very end of the letter from the Editor (who reads that?) I found the following message: “…we’re thrilled to share our quick tips for making storage your own. In particular, look for the ‘If you only have one hour…’ tip boxes throughout the issue.”

I went back through the issue and sure enough there were these little boxes, outlined with a dashed line, as if you might cut them out, hovering over a few of the pretty photos of clean, uncluttered interiors. But in another exhaustive search I found only four of these tip boxes with no more than two or three sentences each! Since I did not pay the seven dollars, I am not going to feel cheated, but it does go to show you what the editors of Better Homes and Gardens thought would best sell the magazine to consumers – the promise of cutting clutter in just one hour!

Now let’s be realistic. Just like losing weight, the pounds (and the junk) that we have accumulated took many years to add up. You are not going to shed any significant amount of weight (or clutter) with a quick-fix plan. These are useful tips included in these pages, but you are not going to solve your clutter problem without giving yourself permission to take it slowly, one step at a time. Remember the 20 minute rule of setting a timer for anywhere from 15 to 20 minute increments and stopping before you wear yourself out. If you enjoy the work and do it thoroughly and logically, it seems to me that you are more likely “to keep it off permanently.” But, as any good doctor or de-cluttering coach will tell you, you have to modify your behavior to not acquire the stuff in the first place, just like to have to be careful for your whole life what you put in your mouth.

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