Ever have a huge pile of clothes on your bedroom floor, even though you have a perfectly-good hamper in the closet?
It’s tempting to look at the pile on the floor and beat yourself up over your inability to just walk the clothes into your closet. I mean, the closet is only a dozen feet away at most! It should be easy enough to walk over there and put your stuff in the hamper, right?
Of course we all know that there are a lot of things that should be true, but what should be possible might not be practical in reality.
Hello, This Is Your Clutter Calling
Your clutter isn’t just a visual mess, it’s a story. And like all stories, sometimes it has lessons to teach us.
Where things end up is a function of where it made sense to us to put them at the time. In this case, your clothes are going on the floor (instead of in the hamper) because that’s what makes sense to you when you’re taking them off.
At the end of the day, you may be super-tired and not want to walk that extra dozen feet to put something away. There might be something in the way of getting to the closet one night, so you start a pile. Or you may just be absentminded, so starting a new habit is more difficult.
The Most Important Thing
Whatever the reason, clothes are winding up on the floor. This is the important thing. You don’t need to know the exact reasons for it; all you need to know is that this is your reality.
How do you solve the problem, without reprogramming your brain?
You could leave the closet door open, or just remove it entirely – then practice your basketball skills. Seriously. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You miss, and the clothes are on the floor right next to the hamper.
You could move the hamper. If the clothes are winding up by your bed, you could put the hamper where the pile is (or closer to it, if nothing else).
You could stop wearing clothes. Okay, I’m not actually suggesting this, but it would solve the problem, wouldn’t it?
There are probably other options too, but the important concept is that you’re dealing with the situation as it is – not as you wish it was. If you’re worried that guests will think it odd that your hamper is at the foot of your bed, just tuck it into a corner when guests come over. Moving a hamper is less work than running around your room and picking up all of your dirty clothes, I promise!
This Is Especially True With Other Peoples’ Clutter
All of this applies at least double when the clutter in your space isn’t yours. Let’s use small children as an example.
Many parents want their kids to hang up their coats when they come home. If your smaller children have to walk into the house, walk down a hall, open a closet, get a hanger on an adult-height bar, and put their coat on it, the odds of that coat ever getting hung up drop dramatically.
Sure, you can try to train your kids to develop the habit of hanging their coat up. You can put a little step stool inside the closet so they can reach the (too-tall) adult-height bar. You can remind them every time they forget (which will be daily for many kids – especially young ones!).
Or you could just put a child-height coat hook (and maybe some adult-height coat hooks!) by the door. You don’t have to drill out the wall; the little plastic surface-mount ones would work just fine.
Your kid still might not hang up his coat 100% of the time, but I’m betting it will happen much more often!
What Is Your Clutter Trying To Teach You?
Odds are good you have a pile or two somewhere in your house, or some things that are chronically out of place. What lessons can you learn from your clutter?
And how can you apply that knowledge to help get your clutter under control?