Has anyone invented clutter-repellent yet?? I started decluttering a little each day over Lent and I'm still at it! My two kids, newspaper/book loving husband, and my own inability to let go of "perfectly good" things create new clutter storms constantly. What do you do to keep yourself going?
Here's a pic of how bad it got in my office (I'm thankful to report it has gotten better): http://upside-down-patty.blogspot.com/2011/03/spring-cleaning-work-weekend-saturday.html
That photo has made me feel better about my craft room...I'm thinking well at least there is room here to walk around and I don't need to hide under the desk lol!! Glad to hear it has got better since though...
Re the inability to let go of "perfectly good" things, that's the thing that both my husband and myself struggle with...the difficulty throwing out or donating things that are perfectly good. I guess I have to work out how many perfectly good things are really necessary to own, especially with things like clothes. I might have ten T-shirts that I wouldn't wear to go out, but then I figure they are all good for wearing to bed...but do I really need 10 different T-shirts to wear to bed? Um no. Also I have a lot of brand new things in a closet which I bought for gifts over the years...in sales, and many I never gave to anyone, just forgot about them and bought other stuff (oh dear oh dear...), and so I have quite an accumulation and really find that hard working out what to do with brand new things.
Also when I go through stuff my brain thinks "I could actually use this for...x,y,z" even though I haven't actually used it for x, y or z for the past ten years!
When I get stuck like this, one of the best ways to break through those mindblocks for me is to keep re-reading books about decluttering that motivate me to declutter. Everyone has their favourites, I actually quite like "Banish Clutter Forever" by Sheila Chandra, and also "Clutter Busting" by Brooks Palmer.
We tend to take 3 steps forward, 2 steps back -- but at least we're generally moving forward. Our house is in the best shape it's ever been, though there is still way more clutter than I'd like!!
Things that are helping us:
-Getting almost all my bills online
-Tossing out mail as soon as it enters the house (DH still needs help on this one... *sigh*)
-Dedicating a drawer of the desk to mail, since we don't yet have a good file system going & no money to buy what we need!
-Having a small basket for DS's 'junk' (small cheap toys/favors, paper-bag puppets, etc.) so he can play with it for a few weeks & then toss it when he tires of it
-Being brutal with keeping 'perfectly good' stuff... I try to sell it on CL first, if I can get a few bucks for it I feel better parting with it, or if I can donate it directly to someone who needs it, that helps too, but in general just keep donating/freecycling because many of those things are easily acquirable in the future should we need it... admittedly, this has gotten harder with DH laid off & me in a big crafting phase right now...
-Along with the previous point, keeping an eye on "wanted" ads on FC/CL... encourages me to get rid of things I might otherwise hang onto
-A place for everything... if we don't have a place for it, why? Do we need to get rid of the item, or do we need to find/buy/create something to store it properly? Even 'junk' should have a place if it's not something I'm willing to part with for whatever reason.
I don't know, that's all I can think of right now but maybe if you can elaborate on the type of clutter you're dealing with we can come up with more ideas!
I just try to think of it as an ongoing and constant process. It will never truly end, any more than weeding a garden ends, or vacuuming or dusting ends.
I just have to keep on doing it (and encouraging the kids and DH to do so). It *is* getting better - underneath my bed I have no more storage boxes!