Looming silently beneath the depths of family happiness, an ominous mountain waits for human contact. It isn’t a majestic mother-nature-created mountain, it is a man-made mound of horrific magnificence. Or perhaps it is more of a woman-created land mass.The tip of its highest peak is covered with a white cap of random unnecessary paperwork, and its base consists primarily of outgrown jeans, faded curtains, discarded plastic fruit, disconnected flip-flops, paper-thin T-shirts, a broken vacuum cleaner, 27 mismatched socks, three malfunctioning computer keyboards and a broken mouse or two.
The middle of the mountain is made up of a myriad of miscellaneous homeless odds and ends that needed a place to live until they could be released into the realm of spring cleaning.
Don’t regard that winter pile of basement clutter as an enemy to be confronted, hands on hips, nostrils flaring, ready to do battle. Instead, try a more peaceful approach and develop it into a friend you will join forces with to learn a brand new skill called “declutterability.”
Here are some tantalizing tips on how to achieve this exciting transformation:
1. Approach with caution – “Clutter Mountain” may not realize that your intentions are positive. It you tackle it too abruptly, it could result in your becoming disoriented, disillusioned and panic-stricken. A cool head is required to conquer daunting piles of basement clutter.
2. Wear protective gear – If the quartermaster is fresh out of aprons, then comfortable clothes that are one grunt away from disposal can be substituted. Helmet is optional.
3. Arm yourself – A full arsenal of supplies will need to be requisitioned: rubber gloves, disinfectant, reinforced trash bags, a dumpster (optional). Also consider bringing manila folders for any papers worth keeping, and a container in which to place misguided items that don’t belong on “Clutter Mountain.”
After dismantlement is complete, promptly put misguided items and important documents away to avoid new mountains cropping up at other desirable locations within your home.
4. Assign reinforcements – Enlist help from other peacekeeping troops, and give them their marching orders to go directly down the steps to assist. Other household members should learn the tactics required to disassemble and tame “Clutter Mountain.” Rely on your leadership skills to guide young helpers so they will know what to do down the road, when they are full-fledged officers of declutterability.
5. Bring refreshments – When such a tremendous level of effort is put forth, it is a safe assumption that the soldiers’ thirst will need to be quenched at some point.
It is often said that, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” When acquiring the skills necessary for yearly declutterfication, “it’s not what you declutter, it’s how you conquer it.”
Don’t let your attitude get cluttered with negative forces. Instead, clear the path with a positive outlook. When stabilized, Clutter Mountain will grow smaller and less powerful with each passing year.