For 33 consecutive days the number one item on my daily “To Do” list has been “spend 20 minutes decluttering my house”. I sit at the computer for hours googling decluttering tips, but I haven’t actually gotten around to taking any action.
In fact, it took me a half hour to find the computer under a mountain of junk that I don’t know where to file. I was determined to get organized in 2015 and here it is February and I haven’t even begun.
Meanwhile clutter and doodads I don’t even recognize are building to the point I may have to buy a bigger place.
It has come to my attention that perhaps I’m going about it all wrong. Home organization blogger Karen Clemons hit me squarely between the eyes with her tongue-in-cheek list of suggestions on how to INCREASE our clutter. Here are a few of her simple strategies along with a few of my own outlining how to get that “lived in” homey look. I guess you could call me a maximalist rather than a minimalist which is so chic these days. Chic doesn’t live here any more.
1. Always bring home the freebies – the booklets at museums, the soaps at the hotel, the pens at the bank. Never use them. But just bring them home. Thankfullly you cleaned out the junk drawer so they can all go in there.
2. Hang onto the heirlooms that you don’t really like and display them in the center of your living room just because they belonged to someone you knew. Never, ever have any open spaces on your tables or walls. Place some decorative accent item on every square inch.
3. Always have two of everything. It’s useful to have a second can opener in case the first one breaks when you’re opening a can of tuna.
4. Build a collection of something cool that you’ll never actually use – like cookbooks if you don’t cook, gardening books if you don’t garden and travel brochures of places you’ll never visit. This will make you appear all worldly and sophisticated.
5. Save crayon stubs because you might make them into candles one day.
6. Keep every greeting card and note you’ve ever been sent. And not just the romantic ones from your husband or boyfriend, but also the kid you babysat in 1965.
7. Always have more books than shelf space.
8. When you use up the last of a cosmetic product or facial cream, keep the containers. You never know when you’ll need an extra one when you travel.
9. Keep everything. Keep a box of really short strings. Label it “Strings too short to use.”
10. Never put anything away. Just drop it where you are using it because you will probably be needing to use it there again. It might be years from now, but you might need it.
11. Always clean and store every spaghetti jar, soup can, cool whip container, paper towel or toilet paper rolls for some future use as yet undetermined.
12. Never donate or toss clothes that have magically shrunk while hanging in the closet, because you just know you’re going to fit in those stone-washed, size 4 jeans again one day.
13. And finally, don’t discard anything that could be worth something someday. It is highly unlikely that thousands of others are saving the same items, thus increasing future value. How else would anything grow old enough to be an antique? You’ll be doing a valuable public service by saving that thingamadoochie for future generations.