|HOME Got Clutter?
If you are still a little uncertain about your clutter quotient, grab
a pen or pencil (if you can find one) and take this quiz.
1. Do you often have a problem figuring out what to wear even though
your closet is full of clothes?
2. Do you hang on to clothes that haven’t fit in years or are hopelessly
out of date?
3. Do you have an Imelda Marcos situation breeding on your closet floor
(i.e., piles of shoes dating back to the platform era)?
4. Do you own shoes that hurt your feet?
5. Do you have a collection of hats you rarely, if ever, wear?
6. Do you own more than two pairs of eyeglasses dating back several
7. Does your handbag or briefcase weigh more than five pounds?
8. Do you own enough earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches,
cufflinks, and stick pins to rival a pirate’s treasure, the bulk of which
you never wear?
9. Do you save makeup that has dried up, caked over, or dissolved almost
10. Do you own enough cosmetics to supply the cast of the floor show
at Caeser’s Palace for a month?
11. Do you keep piles of newspapers and magazines you haven’t read because
there’s something that you must read in each paper or magazine?
12. Do you have more than one hundred copies of National Geographic?
13. Do you keep junk mail for weeks or even months at a time? YES_ NO
14. Do you have mail-order catalogs dating back several seasons?
15. Do you have so many books that you’ve started storing them in-boxes?
16. Does the top of your desk look like the national archives? Is it
so cluttered with piles of paper that you don’t have any space left to
do your work?
17. Have you ever filed something on Monday and been unable to find
it again on Wednesday?
18. Do you have more than one calendar for the current year? Do you
save calendars from years gone by?
19. Has your telephone, electricity, or other utility been turned off,
or have your credit cards been stopped, simply because you lost the bill, and not because you didn’t have the money?
20. Do you have a bulletin board with more than one layer of papers
on it? Are you always running short on push pins?
21. Do you sometimes miss phone messages because whoever took the call
couldn’t find a pencil to write it down with?
22. Have you ever missed an important meeting or social event because
you misplaced the invitation?
23. Is the information in your address book or Rolodex current? (Are
there any names that you haven’t the foggiest notion who those people
24. Do you own appliances, gadgets, or gizmos that you never use?
25. Do you have uncounted brown paper bags lurking in a closet somewhere
or squished into the corner between the wall and the refrigerator?
26. Did the pots and pans stage an outright revolt the last time you
opened the kitchen cupboard?
27. Do you have enough plastic containers to store an entire month of
leftovers, and then some?
28. Do you own more than two sets of dishes?
29. Do you have more than one can opener or spatula? Do you have other
duplicate kitchen utensils?
30. Do your kids own enough toys, games, and stuffed animals to outfit
a toy store?
31. Are you still saving baby clothes and toys that your children Outgrew
32. Do you have two tons of papers that your child dragged home from
kindergarten through high school?
JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
33. Do you have craft supplies and half-finished projects stashed all
over the house?
34. Are you a budding artist who gives art supplies squatter’s rights
in every room?
35. Do you have material and Patterns you haven’t used in years?
36. Do you have hundreds of photos that still haven’t been put into
37. Is sports equipment stashed all over your house, from the hall closet
to the basement to your bedroom?
38. Do you have a collection of figurines, matchbooks, stuffed animals,
rocks, hats, bottle caps, salt and pepper shakers, or Star Trek memorabilia?
(HINT: It doesn’t matter what you collect, we’re interested in the acquisitive
39. Do you have boxes of heirlooms—china, table linens, quilts, furniture,
knickknacks—stored somewhere on the premises?
40. Can you lay your hands on a screwdriver or hammer within sixty seconds?
41. How about hardware — can you find the right sizes of nails and screws
42. Do you tell everyone not to touch a thing in your shop because,
in spite of the apparent mess, you know exactly where everything is?
43. Do you save odd scraps of lumber because they’re perfectly good,
even though you have no immediate use for them?
44. Do you know where your extension cords are right now?
45. Do you ever save almost-dead batteries “for an emergency”?
HOME SWEET CLUTTER
46. Do you have enough candles to outfit the whole neighborhood in case
of a power outage?
47. Are your linens stacked in precarious piles that inevitably topple
over, so the neatly folded towels and sheets and placemats and pillowcases
all end up in a jumbled mess?
48. Do you have old prescriptions or outdated over-the-counter remedies
in your medicine chest?
49. Have you ever had to rewash clean clothes because they hadn’t been
put away and someone threw dirty clothes in with them?
50. Are you saving the box the stereo or microwave came in, along with
enough gift boxes to provide for an entire hospital ward next Christmas?
51. Are your holiday decorations presentable when you get them out?
Or are they broken, smashed, crumpled, or otherwise woebegone, so every
year YOU end up replacing them?
52. Does your hail closet burst at the seams with clutter like Fibber
53. Is the furniture slowly staging a hostile takeover of your house?
Do you feel like you can’t turn around without bumping into something?
54 Do you have things that have needed to be repaired, mended, or cleaned
55. Do you have more than one “junk drawer”? YES._ NO_
56. Is there more than one clock in any given room of your house (all
showing different times)?
57. Is your attic or basement full of spare bed parts, broken lamps,
old yearbooks, suitcases, uniforms, trophies, heirlooms and what else
you aren’t sure?
58. Do you have maps for all fifty states in the glove box of your car?
59. Is the trunk of your car so full of junk that there’s no room for
the spare tire?
60. Is your garage so full of stuff there’s no room for the car?
61. Do you have piles of things in your home or office? Are things stuffed
under the bed, stacked in boxes, or packed in bags, all Waiting until
you have time to sort everything and decide where to put it? (You keep
telling yourself if only... if only I had the time... if only I had more
closet space...if only I had a bigger office. Do you have the “if, only”
62. Do you routinely lose or misplace things amongst your clutter?
63. Have you ever bought a new version of something you already own,
simply because you couldn’t find it?
64. Do you hold on to things just because someone gave them to you as
a gift, and not because you actually like them?
65. Do you have so many possessions that you must rent additional storage space to store them all? YES — NO
66. Is the clutter in your life so overwhelming that you don’t know
where to begin?
In an effort to keep things simple, give yourself one point for each YES.
IF YOUR SCORE IS:
1-10 Good. You’re probably not overwhelmed with clutter, but chances are you’ve got a few hot spots. Just turn to the category of clutter in this guide that describes your problem, and nip the clutter in the bud.
11-30 Uh Oh. Clutter is probably starting to put a permanent crease in your brow. You’ll need to study more than a few sections of this guide and make a real commitment to change.31-50 Red Alert. You’ve got a clutter crisis on your hands. Chaos is probably a way of life for you. Read this entire guide and train yourself to live by the guidelines for conquering and controlling clutter, or clutter will certainly continue to control you.
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