I often think I must be! Our house isn't that bad, but I don't want to get to that point, and be featured on the 6 PM news ("Woman found dead in house full of trash. It took 3 days to find her remains under piles of junk."
Lately, as we approach our 3rd anniversary of buying our house, I've been reminiscing about how nice it was the day of settlement. I remember how bare it was, and how nice that looked! It was fun to camp out for 2 days, on the living room floor, all by myself, eating canned soup, and just having the bare essentials (we really moved in 2 days later, but I took time off work to clean and start moving small boxes in). I miss the spaciousness of the rooms. I realize we can't (don't want to) return to that level of non-clutter, but I can re-gain a spacious look by de-cluttering. If you've ever camped, or been in the military, you realize just how little you need to live!
1. Discover what your cluttering weakness is: sports stuff, clothing, knick-knacks, antiques, etc. You may be surprised. I thought I dind't care about dinner plates, until I realized I was buying a lot of cute little dessert plates when I saw them cheap (I do entertain a lot, though. but still...). When you find out what make you tick, work on it.
2. Don't accept "Can-you-use-this" gifts.
3. When solicited for ideas for birthday, Christmas gifts, etc., ask for only practical stuff, or a gift card for a service (massage, house-cleaning, or for a movie, etc.).
4. Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you need it. Trust me on this one. My weaknessess will be revealed for the world to see tomorrow morning. The 12/26 clearance sales. Please escort me out of WalMart while I still have my dignity. Please.
5. AVOID YARD SALES, FLEA MARKETS, ANTIQUE STORES, AND EBAY LIKE THE PLAGUE.
6. Before buying non-essentials, ask yourself if you really need it. Then, wait a few days.
7. Every few months, de-clutter seriously, in between daily pruning/maintaning of stuff.
8. Box up stuff, mark the date on the box, put it away; re-visit the box in 6 months (DON'T OPEN IT!!!). If you haven't used it, it goes, UNOPENED! (Exceptions: holiday stuff, special occasion clothing that FITS.)
9. Find an easy-to-get to donation spot: Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. this lessens the excuses not to get there to donate. When I got the Xmas stuff out, I wne through it, and got rid of a lot of stuff. The nicest stuff, I boxed up, and sent to a cat shelter charity, that sells stuff on eBay. Yes, it cost me nearly $30 to sent 2 boxes, but it was very nice stuff I thought they could sell, and for a great cause. Always ask a charity first before sending them items, just to make sure they can use them, or want them.
10. Clothing: if it doesn't fit now, it goes. Period. Yes, you may lose weight later, but treat yourself to some new clothes then. Make any stained or nasty stuff into cleaning rags. I cut up soft, fleecy stuff, and make cat blankets for my guys to lay on.
11. Don't take up new hobbies, unless you get rid of the last hobby's stuff first.
12. Books: another of my weaknesses. Luckily, I work in a library, so I know what type of donations they'd like. Also, I know I can take them out, should I want to re-read them, which I do a lot of.