Following my Mom’s best advice really helps me to stay on top of daily clutter. My assent to her command, “Don’t waste a trip,” always makes me breathe a little easier about the state of my home.
But there are items that are beyond daily clutter. There are items which have performed some sort of magic trick in my home. Those are the items I am going to talk about this week. Clutter Fixtures.
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What are Clutter Fixtures?
I know I cannot be the only one who has clutter fixtures in my home. But for purposes of clarity, let’s define a clutter fixture.
clutter fixture – noun. item placed haphazardly in an incorrect place which remains in said place for so long, it starts to (a) look like it belongs there or (b) become invisible to the naked eye
Yep. Those clutter fixtures.
The Danger of Clutter Fixtures
Plain and simple, clutter fixtures are what create hoarders. You may be thinking you are not a hoarder, so you can just go on your merry way and not have to worry about today’s post. But, hoarders all started somewhere. Usually it started with a stack of things that would be dealt with tomorrow. Then tomorrow never came and the stuff just seemed to “fit there.” Soon there was another “tomorrow” stack next to it, and so on into a spiral.
The scary thing about clutter fixtures is the magic trick they perform. After a while – they disappear. Well not really. But as they are there long enough, our eyes adjust to the sight of them. They become normal, we don’t see them.
If you walked into your living room one day and saw a horse standing there, you would be quite shocked. But if you walked into your living room enough days and saw that same horse standing there, you would get used to the idea. You would start to feed the horse; you would adjust your life around it. You might even move your couch to accommodate it.
Similarly, when we do this with inanimate objects, clutter is born!
My Routine for Getting Rid of Clutter Fixtures
This month, in this March MAIDness series, I have been sharing my tried and true routines for homemaking success. These are the routines that work so well I return to them again and again. When life gets off course for a bit, a return to these routines helps get me back on track.
Throughout the years of this blog, I have worked at various times on the problem of clutter in my home. The problem of clutter fixtures is well-known to our household. Thus, I am well versed in not only the formation of clutter fixtures, but also the ridding of them.
Here’s my simple 3-step process for getting rid of clutter fixtures.
What do We Do to get Rid of Clutter Fixtures?
Open my eyes
This seems pretty simple, but it actually is the first step.
First I take a moment to sit in a room and focus my attention on the room. Starting in one corner of the room and scanning slowly clockwise, asking myself if the items I see belong in that room.
Sometimes I have a piece of paper with me to take notes. Or sometimes I make a mental list of what needs to be removed and where it needs to go.
Remove the items that don’t belong
Here’s how to really address clutter fixtures. I don’t simply take the clutter fixtures to another room. Nor do I make a stack of them in another corner of the same room. That doesn’t remove the clutter fixture. That simply rearranges the clutter.
Give the item a Purpose & a Place OR a Passport
The way to evaluate if something stays in my home is its usefulness or meaning. If it meets these criteria, I need to have a place for it to exist in my home.
This can be in plain sight or in storage; but it needs to have a place.
Otherwise, I need to issue that item a passport – get it out of my home. Pass it along to someone else that could use it. Or throw it away.
I work systematically through my home doing these three things. Giving myself time to get these things done, but I don’t take too long. Clutter is clever and clingy. One must put it in its place.