Saturday, December 5, 2009


When I said I don't have extra, unused stuff in my house, here's the reason. This is from an article I wrote in Real Simple but it originally came from Live the Life You Love, and there are lots more amusing but potent ways to dodge that kind of clutter - like getting rid of the stuff your grown kids have left in the garage by telling them you're moving to Spain and they can come for it or if they're too busy (they will be) after a week they can easily find it all at the local Salvation Army store.

In the book you'll also see that the only reason to get rid of clutter is to have open space in which you can create better clutter, Quality Creative Clutter. The kind I realized in my last post that I will never get rid of until I'm comatose (and not making any promises even then). We could call it "How to create open space in which to make a really big mess that's so awful that if you don't quit procrastinating you will feel as if you have sand in your speedos."

But here's the short version:

Toss 10 Things
Never waste a perfectly good day on a one-fell-swoop anticlutter campaign.
Instead, use this absolutely guaranteed, humane method: Wherever you are
at a given moment, find 10 things to throw away. Brushing your teeth?
Open the medicine chest and find 10 disposable objects—antique medica-
tions, someone else’s hair-care product, the shampoos you pinched from the
hotel on your last business trip. Reaching into a kitchen drawer for a cheese
grater? Pull the wastebasket closer and play basketball. Your home will be-
come more spacious and airy within days.
Barbara Sher
Real Simple Magazine


  1. So true. I love this method, too. (Although sometimes I get lost in the fun of cleaning out and don't stop at 10. Wait, what? I had other things I'm supposed to be doing?!)

  2. LOL. Well, that's kind of fun, too: cleaning out clutter and feeling a little guilty about it because you should be doing something else that's less fun. :-)

    But I find that a number of gimmicks I've come up with have to do with a small, safe step through the resistance barrier, along with permission to stop right away if I choose. Somehow it makes everything a lot easier -- most of the time. :-)

  3. I use this method with another twist - fold 10 pieces of laundry (I dislike folding whites), put 10 items away that are cluttering the garage. Soon, I will have conquered even the hidden messes and will move on to giving myself permission to take care of myself - the real challenge.