When I tell people I am a professional organizer they often exclaim “boy do I need you!” What follows is usually a description of the room that is overflowing with clutter in their home. (Master bedroom closets, pantries, and garages are popular.) Or, this new acquaintance proclaims how they won’t ever have the time to get organized. I smile politely and offer up a few words such as “oh, garages are often a catch all for clutter” or “oh we lead such busy lives these days.” But what I really want to say is “you need to learn how to say no.” 5 times to say no to clear your life of clutter.
Say No to the following:
1.The next time you are in a store and see something cute while in the checkout line
Stores place little inexpensive things we think we can’t live without there for a reason 🙂
2. The next time you are in a store and YOUR CHILD sees something they want
This is a heavily loaded topic. Sometimes our children truly do need something. Other times-if we are honest with ourselves-we are purchasing stuff for them to show our love, or to seem like the nice guy after we reprimanded them earlier in the day. Being on this side of child rearing (as I write this I am 50 with an 18 and 20 year old) I can now see clearly two things: 1) I should have given my children more chores (topic for another post and 2) we do a disservice to our children by buying them too much
Don’t just take my gut feel for it. According to Parenting.com, toy overload can actually hurt children. So resist the temptation and save the purchasing for necessities, holidays and birthdays.
3. When a retailer is offering something for free
How many times have you been in a car dealership/gym/new store opening and they were offering something for free. Yet…you didn’t really need it and it wasn’t even that great but…it was free. Say no. It’s just going to end up as clutter.
4. The awesome bogo/sale/Costco run
Everyone loves a good deal. I think it’s in our DNA. Maybe it’s on chromosome 20 or something. But is it really a good deal if you don’t need it or don’t have anywhere to store it? I’ve counseled many a client with 3 people in their family and a pantry the size of a coat closet to stop shopping for 50 rolls of paper towels at Sam’s Club. Resist the temptation.
5. When you are already overscheduled and can’t figure out how you’re going to get your child to their after school activity and someone asks you to volunteer for a bake sale
This is a say no to time clutter. See how I snuck that in here?
I get it. We moms make the world go around. We like to be helpful. There’s a sort of camaraderie in being one of the 10 moms who does everything for the school/team/club. But this comes at a price. Your sanity and a the environment in your home. I’ll never forget the time my sweet daughter said to me “mommy, you aren’t going to work and be the PTA President next year, are you?” Because truthfully it made me a bit cranky and way too busy. Help some but draw the line somewhere.
Learn to say no and the clutter won’t even make it in your front door.