Sunday, September 4, 2011

Later is Clutter’s Best Friend.

I heard that quote recently from Peter Walsh during his OWN show “It’s all too much” and I’ve been pondering it ever since.  It’s simple really.  I’ll make a decision about that LATER.  I’ll throw that out LATER.  I’ll go through that box LATER.  I’ll pile the donations here for now so that I can donate them LATER. So then what happens?  All of those piles for “later” tend to sit around and take over.  They begin to take on lives of their own and make friends in the process of waiting.  Those “later” items begin to take over and now they have morphed into CLUTTER.

Problem #1: When is “later”?
Later needs to be better defined.  I may fold the laundry and leave it in my laundry room until all of the laundry for the day is done so that it can all be put away together “later” – at the end of the day when the laundry is done. I do not care to run laundry around my house 9 times in one day just so that it can all put put away at the end of the cycle.
I may place the recyclables in the garage so that the next time I go outside “later” I will take them with me to the blue bin – the next time I go outside. Especially in the heat, I try to go outdoors as few times as possible.  Those empty plastic bottles can definitely wait half a day to complete their journey.
What’s the solution? Set a deadline for “later”.  Heck, write a date on the donation bag and plan time in your daily log to take it to the donation site.  If you can’t take it by that date, then promise to call a charity to pick it up on that date.


Problem #2: Is keeping something for “later” always a bad thing?
I may toss a magazine in a basket to read “later” when I have some free time – but what if that free time never arrives? Good question.  In the case of the magazine in the basket: The basket is only so large. While a certain amount of magazines will fit into the basket, eventually it fills up.  Do I get a second basket to hold even more magazines?  Do I find a larger container? NO!!! My magazine space has been filled.  I have some options.  I can go through the basket and get rid of those magazines that do not interest me, are out of date, are no longer relevant… OR I can just refuse to let any more magazines enter my home.  Either way, there is a finite amount of space allotted for magazine storage.  When that amount of space is full, a decision has to be made.  Does it make sense to set aside pleasure reading for “later”? SURE.  What sense would it make to drop everything in order to read each magazine the moment it came in from the mailbox?  That would really get my Time Management Panties in a wad!


Is Later really Clutter’s best-friend?  In many many instances, I would have to say YES!  If Later has a short-term deadline, I believe that is acceptable.  If Later has a SMALL, reasonable limit, I believe that is acceptable. It is when Later never comes that Clutter is able to breed and grow.

What do you think about LATER? Do you have any related points to ponder?


If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or by searching for Organize With Julie.  Stalk me on twitter @juliebavi.

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