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Chapter 8. Lightening Your Load > Assessing Your Clutter Crisis - Pg. 74

Lightening Your Load 74 Assessing Your Clutter Crisis The first step in getting rid of clutter (the physical kind: papers, objects, and miscellaneous stuff) is to take stock of where it is. You probably already have some idea of where the trouble spots are. You know which closet you'd hate a guest to open accidentally, because your insurance may not cover the head injury that unfortunate guest could receive from flying objects. You know which kitchen drawer always gets jammed by all the useless utensils you've been collecting for decades. You're Not Alone Simplification and organization are often confused, but they're not the same. If you organize before you simplify, things will be disorganized again in no time. --Kate Rhoad, professional organizer from The Woodlands, Texas To find out where all your clutter hotspots are, the obvious and not so obvious ones, rate each of the following areas of your home or office by circling a number from 1 to 4, with 1 being the least cluttered and 4 being the most cluttered. (If the area doesn't apply to you--for example, if you don't have children--then mark it N/A for Not Applicable.) You can think of each number on the scale as follows: Rating 4 3 2 1 Meaning It should be declared a Federal Disaster Area. A visit from the Red Cross wouldn't hurt. It could use some clearing out, but it is not a total embarrassment. This area would pass the mother-in-law/nosy neighbor/ fussy roommate test. Table 8-1. Clutter Crisis Quiz Kitchen cabinets and cupboards Kitchen drawers Kitchen counters Refrigerator and/or freezer Cleaning supplies Canned and dry foods Pots and pans Glasses and cups Plates, bowls, and other china Plastic containers and old jars Silverware Other utensils Spices and herbs Plastic wrap, foil, and so on Cookbooks Recipes Coupons 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A