Declutter and Have Time to Putter




Do you like to putter? 

When you have time to putter, it gives you a stage to come up with new ideas! That's why creative people love to putter around. But it's hard to putter when there's too much clutter. So if your only reason to declutter is so you'll have more free time to putter, it's a good enough reason. The best question to ask yourself when you have a decluttering session is:


Would I buy this at Goodwill?


In deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, ask this question: ‘Would I buy this at Goodwill?’” Just that question opens your eyes to the item you’re looking at. If you were at Goodwill, would you buy this? Because when you’re buying something secondhand, you take your blinders off and put your examination lenses on.

I Was Blind and Now I See!  

At home, your blinders allow you to relax in private and not see what you don’t want to see, just like your sunglasses keep the sun from hurting your eyes. Your home isn’t subject to scrutiny until you’re going to have company at which time you get out your examination glasses and see with “company eyes.”

If you'll put your timer on for 15 minutes and spend that time looking for stuff you wouldn’t buy at Goodwill, you’ll probably be able to fill up a box to give away or pitch. As I wrote that sentence, it inspired me to do just that. So, I’ll be back in 15 minutes if I don’t get sidetracked and end up taking a bath or sweeping the deck.


I’m baaaack! Well, with my blinders off, I discovered six sweaters, three shirts, two pairs of sandals and one dress that were all worn-out. No they were exhausted! When you wear something that looks tired, there’s a good chance it’ll make you feel tired and look pooped too. With my scrutinizing lenses in place, and the question in mind ‘Would I buy this at Goodwill?’ my answer for each item was “No Way!”


This is a fun exercise, especially this time of year. Before you store your summer clothes, get those scrutinizers on and go over each garment with the question ‘Would I buy this at Goodwill?’ (I found most of my “fatigued garments” in the pile of summer clothes that were ready to be stored.) When I pulled out my fall clothes I caught two pairs of slacks I’d stored last spring that slipped past my scrutiny.

Isn’t it amazing what clarity does for us? Don’t you just love understanding something that you didn’t “get” and then you do? When you suddenly realize something you didn’t realize before, you might say, “Oh, now I see,” or “My eyes were opened.”


When you come up with an idea you hadn’t thought of before, it excites you and you want to share it. Getting an idea is what is at the core of every business. Blue cheese comes to mind. If you like blue cheese, you can probably thank someone who got the idea and the nerve to taste milk that had really gone bad and had been invaded by mold. Think of having the nerve to even try it when it looked and smelled so bad. And then to have to wait to see if you’re going to die or become paralyzed would be a whole other issue!


The wonderful thing about clarity is, once you know, you can’t unknow it.

Now you know how to look at your stuff with new eyes and you know the question, so put on your scrutinizers and go fill a box in 15 minutes.

In case you didn't know, clutter takes up your time. Less clutter means more time to putter!



Here's a blog I wrote on the subject of decluttering. Just click on the Frank the cat.DSC_0522aa.jpg

 If you consider reading for enjoyment a form of puttering, I invite you to read "The Joy of Being Disorganized." It'll entertain you and there's an entire chapter devoted to helping you declutter. 

Just click on the cover to purchase:joyofbeingdisorganized-cover3.png















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