The Reclutter Monster is sneaky. He likes to give you a false sense of security after a massive cleaning out project. He knows he may have lost the battle, but he’ll be back to try and win the war! He just lays low for awhile and bides his time. “Say hi to the folks at Goodwill for me. Don’t worry. . .I know where you live.”
The Reclutter Monster goes into hibernation throughout the year, but he always comes out of hiding when holidays and birthdays roll around. “Did you miss me?” he asks. “You didn’t think I was gone for good, did you?” Stay strong, dear Minimalist! The Reclutter Monster is here to test you, but if you know his tricks you can beat him!
Battling the Reclutter Monster
I did battle with the Reclutter Monster this weekend. He had taken siege in my daughter’s room. He had surrounded himself with colored blocks, naked baby dolls, and a stuffed animal fortress. He was hanging tough with outgrown clothes, a broken robot, and some old princess costumes. It was going to be a tough battle for sure!
I gathered my weapons: a large black trash bag and a stubborn streak a mile long. I was not going down without a fight! I left my emotions at the door and didn’t let the cuteness factor undermine my efforts. Fueling me on was the knowledge that another birthday will be arriving in two weeks and I knew the Reclutter Monster would be sending his reinforcements.
I am proud to say that I claimed victory that day! I did not give in. Two trash bags later and not a single tear shed. . . I emerged triumphantly!
Know Your Opponent Well
It’s easy to get frustrated when you’ve worked hard at decluttering your home and you turn around only to find it recluttered again. Unless you live alone, your home can become recluttered faster than you realize what’s happening. But if you remain aware of this issue, you’re half-way there to winning to battle.
Knowledge is Power. Don’t let clutter overwhelm you. Accept it as reality and develop your battle plan now.
Kids are clutter magnets. Period. End of story. Be aware of broken, unplayed with, and outgrown toys. My kids have this odd habit of keeping broken toys because they used to love them. Break the habit now.
Clean out before every gift occasion. I always plan a clutter purge before Christmas and before birthdays. I do more in between but since I know those times will be clutter intensive, I do battle beforehand.
Plan seasonal declutter touch-ups. When you cycle out clothing for seasons, it’s a good time to go through other elements of room clutter. For kids that means toys. For adults that means paperwork, gadgets never used, and items we had to have but somehow live without just fine.
Don’t give in to the discouragement. Being discouraged and tired are two of the Reclutter Monster’s biggest weapons. Don’t give in. Come here for encouragement, find me on Twitter, or write for advice in the particular area you’re struggling with. There is strength in numbers. Find a fellow minimalist and share your battle plans.
If you have struggles or insights on fighting the Reclutter Monster, please share with us in the comments.
Article originally published on 01/17/2011