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Blog: Organize This!
CRAP is Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure

This past weekend I spent three hours with a client uncluttering and organizing her bedroom. Things were going pretty well until I suggested we look under the bed. She indicated that we didn’t need to go there, but the lack of daylight under the bed told me that we did. She agreed to dig right in and in no time we got everything out and sorted. Her reaction is typical of many of my clients when we unearth their clutter. But what isn’t typical is that my client was my seven year old niece.   
Every client, young or old, has clutter that needs to be dealt with and the reasons why the clutter accumulates are many.
1.   We delay the decisions we need to make in order to organize or unclutter. We think we don’t have the time, but we also can’t find the time to do it later.
2.   We are emotionally attached to some things and we take longer to decide if we should keep them or not.
3.   Our culture teaches us to buy, buy, buy and we shop for entertainment. Since everything is so cheap and there’s a sale every day, it’s easy to accumulate lots of stuff.
4.   Advertisers convince us we need stuff to feel good about ourselves and since we can shop 24/7 on the internet or our televisions, the shopping never ends.
In my new book, Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP, CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure. My definition of CRAP is as follows:
1.   Stuff that does not bring joy, pleasure, usefulness, or life to a home.
If your belongings irritate you, don’t bring you pleasure, or aren’t useful, it’s time to decide whether you should keep them around or not. In other words, if you are pushing something out of the way to get to what you really want or you keep moving it from one end of the room to the other, it is time to let it go?
2.   CRAP is owner-specific; one person’s CRAP could be another person’s ‘treasure’.
If your grandmother’s dining room set has been in your basement for five years, it’s probably clutter. In someone else’s home, it could mean having a beautiful dining room set for the first time in their lives.  
3.   The retail or market value of CRAP is irrelevant.  
For example, my son’s handprint from first grade that I display on my wall is probably not worth anything on the retail market, but it means the world to me. And just because you paid $1000 for a treadmill you never use, doesn’t mean you have to keep it because it cost a lot.
4.   CRAP prevents homeowners from living their best life.
When there’s too much clutter in your home, you spend a lot of time taking care of that clutter instead of doing what you want to do. Could your time be better spent?
If your clutter is becoming CRAP, let it go by donating it, selling it, or giving it away. When there’s less clutter to take care of, you are on the road to living your best life clutter-free!
Clutter Quote: “Everything in my home is a reminder of someone I love or somewhere I have been.” Nate Berkus, design expert.

posted on: 9/15/2012 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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