Like nasty in-laws and pretend-to-be friends, clutter must be put in its place from time to time and from room to room. It must not be allowed to reproduce and multiply while you sleep; nor should you have to quit your day job and stay awake all night to insure that it doesn’t. Here are some tips, cluttered room by cluttered room. Read on even if you can’t find the page.
The Entrance Hall
Place a large decorative bowl or basket on a small table in your entrance hall. Keep your keys and gloves inside and they will still be there when you need them again, (unless the clutter fairy breaks free and has her way with things). Keeping things accessible is the key to remaining organized (or at least, so they say). One good way to do this at the entranceway to your home is to keep those things that you will need when you leave the house close to the door. The hall closet or thereabouts should house walking sticks, rain shoes etc. Purchase an attractive umbrella stand and keep it by the front door.
The Living Room
In the case of the living room, the trick is to give the impression that the room is tidier than it really might be. (I won’t tell if you don’t.) Make sure your colored chairs are clean and whoever sits in them will assume the darker colored ones are as well. Distract the views of others by placing colorful vases of fresh flowers throughout the room and comb out the fringes of carpets and area rugs. If it still looks a mess, insist all guests wear blindfolds. (If they don’t like it, they don’t have to come again.)
Literary and “Utter” Clutter
A pile of magazines can happen quickly even when you are not looking. To avoid this, cut out whatever features may interest you and store in a box. Then dispose of the magazine quickly before it gets too comfortable in your home and decides to stay. Make an “in the front, out the back” policy. Whenever you buy anything new, an item of equal size must go out of that room. If you like this rule, you can extend it to the “one in four rule.” For every new item, four old ones of any size or from any room must go.
Approach clutter as an enemy on the battlefield of life and consider yourself a brave and loyal soldier who will fight till the last piece of paper is in its proper place. You might even win a purple heart, that is, if you could find a place to put it!