Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The "STOP and Drop 8" Method of De-Cluttering

Need an aggressive method of purging your home of unwanted clutter? Tired of the build up from decades of household crap?

There is an exercise I recommend. I do it sometimes when organizing
my stuff and other people's items. I call it the "STOP and Drop 8" method. I just did this with my friend Judy P's on friday with her. She is on oxygen and needed my help. Here is what we did.

A STOP sign has 8 sides. So we use the number 8 here as a benchmark number.

Take everything out of the drawer or closet or whereever.

In this example we have the spice rack in Judy's kitchen. Judy had about 35 different spice bottles in one cabinet. they were falling out and spilling when the door was opened. A couple klobbered me on the head when I went to make us lunch. :) Laughing, she gave me the go -ahead to consolidate for her because she can't reach up and do it. She had duplicates and emptys
and all kinds of herbs and spices. Some looked pretty old and some were brand new.

I said Judy, let's STOP and do this together.
Stop and Think first. Obviously, toss the empty ones out. Yes. Toss 8 if you can. And
anything really outdated and stale. Eww . Obvious. Toss 8 more if you can.

STOP and think of the ones remaining and usable--what can be
consolidated? That is pretty obvious too. Can we consolidate 8? Yes. we found several that were the same herb and in half-bottles that could be blended.

Ok Stop, What EIGHT do you absolutely keep? Because a stop sign has 8 sides we
say keep 8. Which ones --for whatever your preferences-- are essential to
keep? Her family loves a certain style of cooking. So her top 8 are different than mine. That's ok. She needs to keep HER choices for top 8!
So we tucked 8 back in the basket to keep.

STOP and toss eight more items if you can. If you don't use them, don't like them, they look off somehow....toss 8.

Stop and keep 8 more. Then stop and toss 8 more. And on and on.

I did this in my sock drawer and in my plastic cups and in several of
my yarn baskets. The STOP 8 system can work in many rooms and many

Keep 8 things and then Toss 8 things over and over throughout any room.

It is aggressive. More aggressive than the 1 in 5 that I also do often at my
house. But it sounds like you might need the "STOP and Drop 8" for some things
and the 1 in 5 for others.

You can do this. But you have to get the resulting declutter items OUT of the house right away. :)

Oh yeah and Judy and I went from 35 spice jars down to 16. Pretty good progress for 15 minutes work. And she STILL had every single spice she really needs for her style of cooking! Plus, she was so happy not to have that accumulated clutter hitting her on the head every time she opened the cupboard!! :)


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