You can’t organise clutter: Do this instead

The guitar teacher rolled her eyes as the leaf blower burst into life outside the front window interrupting the flow of her lesson with my daughter. ‘He does this all the time,’ she said.

It seemed that her husband had decided that it would be a perfect time to get rid of the leaves in the front yard. Unfortunately, he failed to register what effect that would have on the lesson happening just on the other side of the window.

Now, I can’t say I was too upset. You see, I had spent a few weeks looking at the pot plants outside the front door while waiting to be let in. Once upon a time they must have been nice little shrubs but, by that point, the plants had died and the leaves had all fallen off around the pots.

These poor dead plants surrounded by their leaves at the front door had been messing with my head a little. Long ago I learned the mantra ‘You can’t change a poor first impression’ and a messy, cluttered front doorway creates a less than positive impression, particularly if you are using your home to run a business.

A part of my brain wondered why they never saw the leaves and that part of me was pleased that he had decided to get out and fix it.

The guitar lesson finished and as we were heading towards the car, the leaf blower had made it to the front door. What happened next made such an impression on me.

He used that leaf blower to blow around the pots and the front door but when he had finished and moved on, absolutely nothing had changed. Not one leaf was gone. They had just been moved around.

I think I may have let my jaw drop just a little. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I would have thought he had missed that spot entirely.

Then it registered what the teacher had said right at the beginning, ‘He does this all the time.’ I wondered, had he really been regularly blowing that front doorstep and making absolutely no impact whatsoever?

What a huge waste of time!

This is exactly what happens when we spend time working on an area of the home and, when we are done, have only rearranged the stuff or moved it to another location and not out the door.

Unless a significant number of items are removed completely, we haven’t actually been decluttering at all. We have been arranging and organising, that’s all: Just moving around the leaves.

The problem is, what most people do when facing clutter is try to organise and rearrange it.

And you need to realise, there is a cost to not dealing with this…

  • They move the clutter from one room to another, never finding a place to store it and never knowing where their belongings are.
  • They buy boxes, containers and shelving units to try and contain their stuff. They become frustrated when these new expensive purchases fail to solve their problem and the clutter just spills out all over the surfaces and floors again.
  • They spend valuable money on storage units, drop off their boxes into them and never look at the stuff again.
  • They feel so dejected that they go shopping to make themselves feel better. But that feeling doesn’t last.
  • Eventually, they ignore the mess, hoping the problem will go away by itself.

You don’t have to be someone who is simply moving around the leaves. You can’t organise clutter but you can learn how to remove it for good!

Click the image below to find out how to join the Freedom from Clutter Forever course and stop moving around that clutter.

You can't organise clutter: Do this instead 1