The information form this post comes from How to Conquer Clutter by Stephanie Culp. I like these commandments as guidelines to manage what is brought into the home and when things need to leave the home. I practice some of these commandments. Do you?
I. Thou shalt stop procrastinating.
Stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, especially when you know you probably won’t do it tomorrow anyway. Decide what you are going to do with the next piece of clutter that you pick up.
II. Thou shalt quit making excuses.
Stop making tiresome excuses for your clutter. You are only fooling yourself, and the clutter is not going to go away by itself.
III. Thou shalt use it or lose it.
If you aren’t using it, lose it. Period.
IV. Thou shalt learn to let it go.
As lives change, needs change, but somehow, clutter accumulates with no regard for our challenged lives. Clutter takes up valuable space and gives you nothing in return, so it should be tossed or given away.
V. Thou shalt be a giver.
Give things away. Don’t wait until you die to give away china that you don’t use now. Every garment you never wear could be worn by a less-fortunate person. Friends, relatives, and charities all appreciate a giving person far more than they do a pack rat.
VI. Thou shalt set limits.
Limit the amount of space you allocate to house your clutter. Closets, bookcases, and filing cabinets should be limited. Just because one space fills up doesn’t mean you should find or buy more space. It means it’s time to weed out your clutter to reclaim the space you already have.
VII. Thou shalt use the in-and-out inventory rule.
If something new comes in, something old goes out. Apply this rule to everything, from toys and clothes, to books and magazines. Stick to it, and you’ll always be in control of your clutter.
VIII. Thou shalt believe less is more.
The less clutter you have, the more time, money, and energy you will have. People will stop nagging you, and you’ll be under less stress. You will be more productive with a streamlined life.
IX. Thou shalt keep everything in its place.
Find a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. (The blender does not belong in the bedroom, and the mail does not belong in the bathroom.)
X. Thou shalt compromise.
Compromise when you organize your clutter. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from doing it or allowing someone else to help you. Functioning efficiently is more important than functioning perfectly. Remember: perfect is not the same as excellent, and sometimes good is good enough.