My quest to Reduce Clutter & Create Space for what matters most in my life has struck a chord with so many people, that I thought it would be appropriate and fun to spotlight the explorers joining me for this 2010 challenge.

Anne, writer of her blog, Frayed at the Edge, has already conquered some amazing clutter and it’s only mid-January!  Enjoy her reflections and suggestions for getting started.

Why have you chosen to join the “Reduce Clutter; Create Space” challenge this year?
I had already posted my resolutions for this year, which included clearing out things which I was unlikely to use, and making the effort to use what I have, instead of buying more.  So this challenge reinforces my intentions.

  (Photo provided by Anne.)

What does “clutter” mean to you?
My immeditate answer to that would be too many ornaments. But, of course, there are different kinds of clutter.  There is the clutter on my worktables in my studio, where I haven’t put things from one project away before starting on a new one.  There is the clutter in my head…thinking about what I have done (or could have, or should have done).  I think about what I should be doing – all those things that I ought to be doing – like boring housework!  I have to learn  how to let go of what I’ve done and can’t change, and stop fretting over what I have still to do. 

What kinds of reducing have you started?
I have made a start in my studio.  I have sorted out all my card making supplies, and I’m recycling a lot of things out of unnecessary packaging, so that I need less storage space for it.  I have also started to sort through magazines and yarns, to remind me of what I have, so that I’m not tempted to buy more.

Have you noticed any new space being created as you let things physically, mentally and emotionally go?  
I have been able to make space in my storage units and have eliminated piles of things that were cluttering the floor – which is a great help to me mentally.  I like things to be neat and tidy…A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place could have been written for me!

(Photo provided by Anne.)

What’s been the easiest part? The hardest?  Any surprises?
The easiest part has been tidying and organizing.  The hardest part is getting rid of things.  I have lots (and lots) of magazines, and I just don’t want to part with them.  But I know that I will never make all the things that I would like to, so I will be brave and give them away.

My biggest surprise has been ‘Oh, I forgot I had that fabric or yarn or kit!’

What are your intentions for joining other ‘explorers’ on this journey?
I think it helps to know there are other people who are trying to achieve the same goals, and they will understand and forgive any stumbles along the way!

Any tips, thoughts, or suggestions you might want to share with others who are interested in starting to conquer the clutter in their lives?
You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I really, really need this clutter in my life, and will I feel better without it?’

I think as the year goes on,  and I make progress with giving things away and using things up (no more saying ‘That fabric is to beautiful to use!’) then I will feel better.  I won’t have that feeling of too much to do, too little time to do it!

A BIG thank you, Anne, for giving us a glimpse into your reducing clutter adventure.  You have inspired me to continue my quest, because as you simply stated, I know I just “feel better” when I do.

Your Personal Reflection:  What kind of physical, mental and emotional clutter are you holding on to?  Need support?  Let me know in the comments if you want to join the Reduce Clutter; Create Space 2010 explorers.