No amount of beautiful interior design can be effective in the face of clutter. Household clutter can also be extremely stressful to live with. That is not to say that getting clutter under control is an easy thing. It is often a monumental task, especially if you have been overwhelmed for some time. Being embarrassed to have friends into your home is not a happy way to live, and keeping people out of your home only allows you to avoid the problem.

Say no to clutterExcess items need to be identified in groups or types, then systematically and regularly removed. They need not all go to the landfill. That is actually a last resort. Often we forget that there are many people much less fortunate than ourselves who actually need some of the vast excess that overwhelms us. Simple recycling them is one of the most effective ways of moving forward quickly. Hanging on to items until you have time and energy to sell them is often a huge waste of valuable time. It is far better to donate your items to charitable organizations who resell goods on a daily basis. More expensive items can be sold, but often this process is a difficult and time consuming one. The main thing is to wade in, especially into “frozen” areas of your home where you have been too overwhelmed to look at for months or even years. Keep it simple and just start the process. Perhaps the help of a trusted friend is available. Setting aside even a half our per day will make a remarkable difference immediately. You will find that your energy increases as the load of clutter dissipates.

 Here’s a list of 100 types of items that are some of the main culprits contributing to clutter:

  1. Miscellaneous containers and jars
  2. Old crayons or art supplies, plus markers that have run out of ink
  3. Toys your pets don’t play with
  4. Junk mail – this goes out the day it comes in
  5. Prom dresses
  6. Automobile manuals for vehicles that you no longer own
  7. Expired medication
  8. Unused vases
  9. Bills you don’t need to keep
  10. Vinyl records you don’t play
  11. Damaged clothing you can’t mend
  12. Hallowe’en costumes you don’t need
  13. Old mail
  14. Furniture manuals
  15. Art supplies you don’t use
  16. Broken or old iPhone cases
  17. Wedding favors you don’t use
  18. Old spices
  19. Save-the-dates
  20. Books of matches
  21. Sad old pillows
  22. Cards or gifts from exes
  23. Invitations
  24. Broken kitchen equipment
  25. Purses you never use
  26. Frequent shopper cards you never use
  27. Worn-out bath mats
  28. Empty or near-empty bottles of cleaning products
  29. Wallets that you don’t use
  30. Unneeded Tupperware
  31. Expired calendars
  32. Dead cell phones
  33. Email subscriptions from sites you never use
  34. CDs for old computer programs
  35. Pens that are out of ink
  36. Papers you have backed up on the computer
  37. Computer cords, firewire cord, etc. that you don’t use
  38. Fortune cookie fortunes
  39. Frayed or discolored towels
  40. Cell phone accessories you don’t use anymore
  41. Day Timer planners
  42. Christmas lights that don’t work
  43. Magnets
  44. Old bank statements
  45. Old and outdated software
  46. Expired coupons
  47. Old prom dresses
  48. Clothing you’ve outgrown
  49. Clothes that are outdated or from college
  50. Hand-me-downs that you’re guilt-tripped into keeping
  51. Unwanted music from your iTunes
  52. Old schoolbooks you’ll never use again
  53. Cell phone covers you’re over
  54. Pet toys that have seen more than their fair share of fun
  55. Keys to homes you no longer live in or cars you no longer own
  56. Boxes
  57. Restaurant placemats
  58. Hand-me-downs that you keep only out of a sense of guilt
  59. Puzzles that are missing pieces
  60. Wrinkled ribbon and bows for gift wrap
  61. Freebie or promotional t-shirts that mean nothing to you
  62. Scarves that you never wear
  63. Broken Christmas decorations
  64. Dingy, mismatched dishware
  65. Address labels for your old house
  66. Games you never did enjoy playing
  67. Seasonal coats that you have stopped wearing
  68. The other side of a pair of lost earrings
  69. Manuals for electronics long gone
  70. Worn out t-shirts
  71. CDs
  72. Worn out denim
  73. Spare photo prints
  74. Travel brochures
  75. Wedding favors that have no meaning or use
  76. Manuals for appliances you no longer own
  77. Little knickknacks that have no meaning for you
  78. Old hangers
  79. Emails you don’t need
  80. Unused stationery, stickers, and sticky notes
  81. Expired make-up or samples
  82. Ripped envelopes for scrap paper – so depressing
  83. Books you’ve already read and don’t want to display
  84. Wedding Invites
  85. Receipts you don’t need
  86. Damaged clothing you can’t mend
  87. Children’s art that has lost its’ spark
  88. Old mail
  89. Sad, old magazines
  90. Kitchen gadgets that don’t work
  91. Furniture manuals
  92. Broken or old iPhone cases
  93. Frequent shopper cards you never use
  94. Purses you never use
  95. Leaky rubber boots that are beyond repairing
  96. Socks whose mate is long gone
  97. Wedding dresses that have no meaning
  98. Tired, old hair brushes
  99. Framed photos that have faded
  100. Expired phone books

Well! That is certainly a daunting list! Life is simply too short to be burdened by this volume of items that mean nothing to you, that you do not even use, and that detract from the pleasure of living in your home, as well as the way your home looks. Having looked at this long list….I could have continued to add items…you may be appalled to realize that your otherwise lovely home contains far too many of these items. The task of divesting yourself of all this is quite a large and perhaps overwhelming job. You’ve heard it all before. Start with one category…not necessarily the hardest one. Make it easy for yourself. Part with something that has been around forever but now you wonder why it’s even there. The hardest part is beginning the process. Do not beat yourself up if it doesn’t all go in the amount of effort it takes to call a friend. Oh! Sorry. No one even does that anymore. Too much effort to actually chat with a friend. Perhaps this gives us a clue to how the physical world can become so out of control. We have become so used to simply swiping a phone to “achieve” a task. It often does perform some sort of task, but overall, the stress of your clutter is still there. Just a swipe achieves nothing in the physical world, though. 

Starting the task of de-cluttering is an achievement in itself. Once started, energy often frees up and you are able to make some progress and move on to completion. 

elegant and dramatic bedroom with faux fur throw and black semi-sheer custom draperies

Enjoy your home and your lifestyle. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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