by Mimi Tanner, Author of Declutter Fast
Here's a quick tip on keeping your home in order. This is called the "Long Run Approach." It pays off over time!
First, the rationale. Have you ever noticed that when you look at a pile of papers or a mess in a section of your home, it bothers you?
You know you want to eliminate the problem, but you are doing something else at that moment, so the mess stays there.
It may stay there for a very long time. And it may be a very SMALL mess. It may only be one dirty sock under the bed, or one cup left where it shouldn't be.
It may be someone else's mess, too, and that's another reason you may get annoyed.
Every time you see this item (or this pile, or this garage!) you "dent" your brain a little more with those negative thoughts and emotions.
It turns out that it's WORSE to have those thoughts than to take care of the problem.
What's more, it TAKES LONGER to keep thinking about a problem like this... than it does to take care of it!
You can minimize this over time with the "Long Run Approach" to decluttering.
Grab an out-of-place item the FIRST time you see it. When you drop something, pick it up immediately.
Otherwise, you will have to THINK about it SEVERAL times before you ever remove the clutter. And it's the thinking about it that is more painful than the clutter itself!
Stop THINKING and start attacking clutter using the Long Run Approach. Then, instead of a negative thought, you'll have a feeling of accomplishment that you're taking care of that clutter now!
Author of Declutter Fast: How To Get Your Home In Order Almost Immediately