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The Neutral Zone

Doesn’t it feel good when your home looks tidy and feels organized? I’m one of those a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place kind of people, and I love it when my space is ordered.

But I have a confession. Well it’s not a secret, but it does surprise people.

I have a neutral zone – a place where things go when they don’t really belong anywhere. A place that gives me the psychological space to have some junk, without it cluttering up my space or distracting my mind.

This zone is located in a closet in my hallway. It’s near the door but out of the way.

I can put my stuff in the zone, knowing it’s out of general sight and out of mind. But because I go there often, I know I’ll get a visual prompt to deal with it pretty regularly.

In My Neutral Zone…

Currently in the neutral zone is:

  • A gift for Craig’s grandmother, waiting for the next time he visits
  • Some DVDs to lend to my friend Glenn
  • Some DVDs to return to my friend Bree
  • Receipts for a recent dress and skirt purchase – which I’ll toss once the clothes have been worn the first time
  • A pair of shorts I recently bought online after too much wine – I haven’t decided whether to keep them or give them to my friend Kelly
  • A pile of magazines to take to my mum’s.

I love having a place where I can throw things ‘for now’.

One trick to making it work, though, is to be aware of what’s in there and to keep stuff moving. It’s not a place junk goes to die.

The other trick is to give the zone a set size – such as a shelf or drawer or couple of baskets. When the tentacles of junk start to break out of their allocated space, it’s time to declutter.

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