You down with OPC? Yeah, you know me.
O.P.C = Other People’s Clutter. Chances are, you are either dealing with it. Or creating it. Or maybe both?
This week’s guest is Natalie Hailey, work at home mom of 2 from the UK. Natalie reached out to me via Instagram after hearing my Spring organizing tips on Amy Landino’s Detail Therapy podcast this past spring.
Natalie is living a cluttered home trifecta…kids, construction, and her mom’s clutter. And while she has a pretty good handle on her first two clutter causes, she is struggling with the third.
DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S CLUTTER
- Create a deadline and a reason you need to clear a space or make time for using the room. A deadline can be a date for a party or the use of space. People work well with deadlines.
- Figure out the reason why the clutter exists.
- Are they emotionally attached? Is it difficult because the items hold memories?
- Are they financially attached? Is it difficult because they spent money on things they don’t want to give it up?
- Do they have the time? Is it hard to find pockets of time in their schedule to do the work?
OVERCOMING CLUTTER ROADBLOCKS
If the clutter cause is emotional attachment, try starting with items that hold less of a connection. In Natalie’s case, I recommend the start somewhere other than her deceased Grandmother’s furniture. The furniture holds a lot of emotional attachment. And this means the decisions may take longer. By starting with less emotional items, they can move quicker and build decluttering confidence as the move towards the harder decisions.
When it’s a financial attachment, look for a way for them to recoup some of their investment. Can they sell items? Give them to a friend or relative? Donate for a tax donation? Or look at the cost-benefit of paying for storage. If you spend $50 a month or $600 a year to store items, are they worth what you are paying?
And finally, if the hold up is the time investment look, for “micro-projects.” Are there ways you can break the project into smaller, more manageable tasks? Could you do a box or two a day versus dedicating an entire weekend? It’s amazing the progress baby steps can make if you just start somewhere.
What are some of your tips for dealing with other people’s clutter? Or do you have a question about your situation? Comment below and let me know your thoughts about OPC. In the meantime, grab a refreshing Pimm’s Cup while you try to ignore the clutter around you.
- 1/2 in English Cucumber Wheel
- 1/2 in Lemon Wheel
- 2 oz Pimm's No. 1
- 4 oz Lemon Lime Soda or Ginger Ale
- Lemon Twist
- Gently muddle the cucumber and lemon slices in a chilled highball glass. Pour in the Pimm’s and lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale, and stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass and garnish with the
New episodes of “Cocktails and Containers” are available every week.
You can find past episodes “Cocktails and Containers” here.