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Is clutter holding you back from reaching your goals? WebMD asks (and answers) that question in this article.

In it, Peter Walsh, an organizational expert and former host of The Learning Channel’s Clean Sweep show, divides clutter into two general types. “Memory” clutter is stuff that reminds us of important events, like old school programs or newspaper clippings. Photographs also fall into this category.

“Someday” clutter refers to items you won’t toss because you feel you might need them someday. Like the ends of wrapping paper rolls and Christmas bows saved from packages.

The article goes on to suggest that cluttered spaces lead to mental clutter that keeps us from making decisions or starting new projects. Some suggestions to fight clutter include:

    •           Pay bills online
    •           One in, one out
    •           Make clutter clearing appointments
    •           Discard stained or torn clothes while doing                            laundry
    •           Start small

Paying bills online will cut down on the amount of paper you receive in the mail. This can make getting the mail and sorting it at the same time faster, reduce stressful decisions and

leave you more time.

One in, one out follows Newton’s Third Law of Physics which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

When you buy something (clothing, baking pans, new bedsheets) you should discard one item that is worn out.

Mark your calendar. If you put it on your calendar or in your phone appointment book you are more likely to actually complete the task. Saying you will take care of that “later” makes it easier to skip it or forget it until you need to get into that cluttered drawer again.

On laundry day, when you are pre-spotting make a note of the items that are stained. If the stain doesn’t come out, then throw the garment out. If clothes are torn or missing buttons, either mend them right away or discard them. (Items that can be repaired might also be donated to a thrift store or homeless shelter.)

Starting small might be the hall closet full of mismatched gloves and boots. Taking stock of your families’ winter gear now will also avoid the chaos and rush to find essential items on that first snowy day!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges