Last time we began our series on uncluttering your home in time for the holidays. We gave you rule number one: When in doubt, throw it out. Hopefully you have begun a little (or a lot) of throwing things out since then, and are now ready for rule number two.
Use it or lose it.
This rule is particularly helpful when you are attempting to implement Rule #1. How do you decide what to keep and what to toss? If you are not using something, get rid of it. This refers to the here and now, not some time in the future. No excuses like, “this might come in handy after an earthquake.” This means, you should toss that collection of lampshades, or mason jars that you’ve been saving since 1963 (the last time you did any preserving).
Parents trying to teach their children about clutter can apply this rule. It might be phrased like, “put it away or lose it.” We received a letter from a woman who told us how well this version of the rule worked for her. She cleaned every Saturday morning and just threw out anything left in her way! It didn’t matter if it was clothes, toys, or food. Out it went. No bluffing. A particularly brief period of time elapsed before the house was completely picked up by early Saturday morning. Hard to argue with success.
One of the biggest roadblocks many people had in implementing our first book, Speed Cleaning, in their home was that the house was too cluttered for them to even start. Rule number two is a solution to that problem. You reduce clutter, and you make your house-cleaning that much easier.