What’s Your Clutter Challenge … Challenge

I was reading through Megan Spears post about our organizer meeting, and how we were sharing our own personal clutter challenges. I was there too, it was a great reality check and open communication about clutter. Guess what? Everyone has it to some extent, and if you learn to deal with it and laugh at yourself you won’t lose your mind. 🙂

I am instigating a challenge, it’s only fair I offer up my personal challenge first. And for me: it’s PAPER. Good gracious I struggle with this naturally, which is probably why I love to help other people with it! Our society is supposed to be going the way of “paperless”, but we are also in the age of information overload! Internet, books, audio, podcasts, newspapers, mail, advertisements, magazines, oh my! There is so much information in our world that you could never get to it all in a lifetime! So much to know and learn, so little time! I have dealt with my paper woes by dealing with the stuff on a daily basis. I also love David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” approach, as well as tips from zenhabits.net.So, I’m putting out a challenge to my fellow organizers and you, dear readers:

What’s YOUR personal clutter challenge, and how do you deal with it?

Monica Ricci

Ariane Benefit

Megan Spears

Jeri Dansky

John Trosko

Jessica Duquette

Aby Garvey

Marcia Francois

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8 thoughts on “What’s Your Clutter Challenge … Challenge”

  1. Brandie, I don’t really *struggle* with clutter, in terms of not being able to let go of things. I am not emotionally involved with the vast majority of my things. What I really hate though, is paper. It’s just never ending. Ugh.

    How I deal: I sort my mail immediately, ditching all junk mail and catalogs and magazines (I don’t get much junk mail because I’ve removed myself from the lists). I also shred as much paper as possible because I just don’t want to keep anything I don’t need to fill up my limited file space. But even organizers need to purge their files every now and again, and time tends to diminish the value of most things, paper included, so about once a year, I like to go through my files and do a major cleanout.


  2. Paper,paper,paper!! As a counselor I get at least one flyer for advanced training every day in the mail. I also get at least one credit card offer every day! I recently read “How to Do the Impossible: Create a Paperless Life, Never Check Voice Mail Again, Never Return Another Phone Call” By Timothy Ferriss at Early to Rise http://www.earlytorise.com/2007/06/26/how-to-do-the-impossible.html. I have started to implement some of his ideas…I’m hoping it helps with the paper clutter in my life!!

  3. Hi, Brandie, great idea for the tag! I could echo exactly what Monica said, but my two places where I clutter are on my body (overweight) and taking on too much.

    I have been working diligently this year on cutting out any projects that are not essential or something that I truly enjoy doing and boy, did that make a difference in my life!

    As for paper clutter, I am obsessive about not keeping anything I don’t need. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be “paperless”, I am the type of person who, for some things, needs to hold the paper in my hand, or at least know it’s on file. That’s why I use a paper planner and I love post-its!

    Every year, usually toward the beginning of the year, I get this little niggle that tells me it’s time to go all the way through my files and purge like a demon. It takes me a few weeks after my first niggle, but then I spend an afternoon surrounded by papers, each year getting more and more ruthless about what I keep. I toss, I shred, I rearrange and it feels heavenly when it’s done.

    I always have a donation bag in my closet and probably once a month, I do a pass through to see if there’s anything that has lost it’s zing for me and out it goes!

    The best thing I have found about this whole moving process is that I have been able to let go of a whole new deep level of STUFF that is only worth a 6-8 on a scale of 1-10. I promised myself that I would only take 9s and 10s with me when I move! Also, because I started packing early enough, I have been able to get to all those projects I have been meaning to get to for YEARS. It feels good.

    thanks again for doing what you do!


    Jessica Duquette

  4. Great idea Brandie!

    What great answers from everyone! For me, it’s projects, ideas, and to do’s. I always have too many things going on at once. The upside is I’m NEVER bored. The downside is I can get overwhelmed and stressed about not having time to do everything I want to do. One way I’m trying to deal with it is I just hired someone to work with me to edit and complete my projects – one at a time. It’s amazing how paying someone forces you to prioritize, choose and focus to get something DONE. : )

  5. My challenge is also paper in the form of mail, magazines, etc, etc. Not only do I want to get all the paper under control, but I want to have some sort of backup system for important paper documents. I am considering creating a complete work-flow that includes scanning paper documents so that I can easily maintain “digital copies” without actually having to create more paper!

  6. Clutter? I am the queen of clutter. For some reason I surround myself with it in all facets of my life. I have clothes that I cannot wear, papers that are obsolete and keep duplicates of everything the Real Estate Commissioner could every dream of asking for, I have storage over my garage that is doing to fall thru the ceiling if I don’t eliminate some of it. Books, clothes, purses, shoes.. oh yes shoes and more shoes. Mentally I am compartmenalized to a degree. I have more thoughts in one minute that most have in a day. I think (no, I know) I need your help. Looking forward to meeting you in Medford at the end of August. All of us down here really need some input and direction.

  7. Most of the time, clutter represents decisions that haven’t been made yet. Whether it’s clothing that doesn’t fit (and likely won’t in the near future), mail that has to be sorted and filed or paperwork that may be important for legal reasons. Just keep at it, and make the hard decisions – and maintain a system that works for you and your style. Best to you all!

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