Don't Let Clutter Control You

Don't let your clutter control you.

Because clutter will run your life if you let it.

Throwing out excess clutter now, not tomorrow, not next week or next month or next year is the most important part of getting organized. You have to do it and do it decisively. Get it out of the house and to charity or the garbage. Not to a box in your garage, or the basement, or the attic or to the shed.

It is the backbone of being organized and of having a productive life.

Excessive stuff will make you unhappy. 

Clutter Control

Clutter control - NOT!

It is not possible to be a well-organized person and to have a lot of stuff. The two do not go together. You are only fooling yourself if you think you can be organized without clutter control. You are a slave to clutter and do not even know it.

I throw and throw and throw some more.

I throw because I hate organizing clutter. I want it gone.

I do not want to keep dealing with it over and over again. I do not want to keep thinking about it, stepping over it, walking around it, stacking it, piling it and putting it away. I want to deal with it once and be done with it. The more I throw out the better I feel and the more organized and happy I become.

I make it a point to look for things to throw out. I throw out clothes, books, papers, containers, furniture and kitchen stuff. I throw out anything and everything. There is nothing I have not thrown out.

I especially throw out anything that doesn't work. Recently I threw out my pizza maker that just quit working the day before. I am not going to hold onto it and hope it works again someday or that I will get repaired. I am going to tell people that I need it. It will make a good gift for me. Or I will just buy it later.

Clothes that don't fit, I toss. Clothes that make me look bad, are even more ruthlessly tossed.

Things that I'm tired of and anything else that looks like clutter has to go too.

At the end of the day at my jobs the paper garbage can is usually full.

I throw out bad habits, bad relationships and activities that take too much of my precious time. I am constantly tweaking and working on my schedule to make my life better. I look for ways to cut out what I do not want to do. I look for ways to avoid things I hate.

Even with all this throwing I still have plenty of stuff. You do not have to be afraid that you will have nothing; you'll just have a lot less. The stuff you have left will be the things you want, love and are useful to you.


I am not alone in my ideas of clutter control and a better life.  I have read some of Don Aslett's books on the subject.

Clutter's Last Stand

For Packrat's Only

I bought these books, devoured them, enjoyed them and live by them.  When I was married, I tried to get my wife to read them and take some of the great advice to heart.  I had no success with her.  But I have had great success with my own life.  Being in clutter control makes me very happy.


I know what is important to me and do not feel guilty for throwing things out.

I think a lot of people do not know what is important to them. They don't know what is easily obtainable again. They don't spend any time thinking of how they could be more organized by having clutter control.

So they just keep everything. They buy new clothes and keep the old clothes. They buy new books but keep the old books they will never read again. They keep every paper they receive in the mail or print off from the computer. They just can't seem to get rid of any of it. Don't do that, your life and free time is more important than stuff.

Some people want to save stuff for their kids and grand kids. I always think that it is best to only keep what you want to keep and let others do the same. Do not force others to do what you want, even if they are your kids.

One way to keep your stuff under control is to use the one in and two out rule. I do see a lot of people who tend to have huge amounts of stuff and clutter to deal with. At my old job, my boss had a desk piled high with papers. He cannot seem to do anything about it. A number of the other people in the office are the same way. But a number of others doing similar types of things have very neat, orderly, uncluttered desks and office areas. I think it is the way a person sees the world. I want my world to be uncluttered and free. Don't you?

Cluttered people have huge amounts of everything. It seems that anything a cluttered person has any interest in is collected. Then after that person moves on to something else, they still keeps the older items. They cannot bring themselves to throw anything away even if they has no interest in it.

Part of the Reason I Care So Much About Clutter Control

My wife would not part with anything.

She was always buying more and more bins, containers, shelving and storage units to contain it all. While I don't mind having good things to hold the good stuff, I do mind spending enormous amounts of MY money to buy more and more containers to hold more and more stuff that wasn't being used.

I hate spending money on stuff to hold clutter.

I want to spend MY money on what I want

Dealing with stuff is an enormous time sink.

I hate spending time storing stuff away and re-organizing it multiple times.  There is really no point in it.

She would spend hours and days working on her stuff and insist that I help and be mad at me if I didn't want to.

She would be furious if she ever caught me throwing anything of hers out. I found out early in our marriage not to do that after she flew into a raging fit.

Looking back this was one of the earlier signs of her problems.  At the time I just thought she loved her stuff more than me.

Clutter Control Problem Story

This happened one Sunday a few years ago when my dad was still alive. 

I took my kids to my brother's rental trailer. He bought it as an investment and for a place for his ex-wife, their daughter and his ex-wife's new son to live. He and my parents were going to be there to work on a project. I wanted to visit and have the kids see their grandparents, uncle and cousin.

We had a nice picnic lunch, visited for a while and then it was time for work.

The trailer had a leaky roof and it needed repair before winter. But before we could work on the roof, my brother said that we needed to organize the stuff in the storage shed.

My brother's ex-wife is quite a collector and she had the shed jammed with stuff. My brother decided to work on the shed first because he knew that his ex would insist that their daughter do it. Since he knew how big of a job that would be, he decided to do it for his daughter. He is really a good dad and protective of her.

My mom, dad and I all helped so it went fairly well.

My dad and I think the same about clutter. If it was up to us it would all have been thrown away. We would have had a huge pile for the garbage man but it would be the last time anyone would have to deal with it.

I didn't mind the work. It was a nice day and I was with family. It was good exercise for me and the kids had a good time with their cousin. I probably won't have to deal with that stuff again. My brother will. He has been moving that same stuff around for years. From house to house. From garage to shed.

Do you see the main problem with the stuff? It came before the real problem of the leaky roof. The roof should have been fixed. A leak in your roof will cause major damage to the building. Expensive damage. But the stuff came first. If the stuff would have been thrown out years before, then the roof could have been fixed first.

Clutter Control for a Better Life

But that is what stuff does. It puts itself first. The more important things come second when you let the stuff come first.

Don't be that way. Let the important things be first. Let the stuff come last. Keep it in its place by always throwing it away. The dirty secret of living clutter free is to always throw things out. and be always be looking to give to charity. When your stuff knows you are a thrower, it will be more respectful of you and not try to push its way to the front. It will know its place in your life. The clutter you allow in your life will know it's usefulness to you. It will know that you are in control. You control the clutter,the clutter does not control you.

Finally, and most important, remember that you are not so much getting rid of clutter as making room to live.

› Clutter Control

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