Ades: Hi, welcome to primetime. This is a series that is exploring issues facing you todays in Los Angeles. Today were talking to Tracy McCubin of decluttefly.
When does someone realize that maybe their roommate is their stuff?
McCubin: When your stuff gets in way of you doing what you want to do. So when you say like I want to ride my bike this weekend, but I can’t find a bike pump and I know I have four of them because I bought one and I couldn’t find the first one so I bought a second one. When your stuff starts getting in your way, I can’t have somebody over to my house, I haven’t eaten dinner at my dining room table in 6 months. You know when your stuff is taking over and you can’t do what you want to do that is the time. And that’s different for everybody. You know, that’s one of the things I always tell people. What’s clutter to you may not be clutter to me so it’s when you find yourself just constantly running in circles.
Ades: Out of 10 people how many people live a cluttered life?
McCubin: That’s hard for me because everyone I see is cluttered. I mean look, we have too much stuff. Here’s the secret: have less stuff. The less stuff you have the easier it is to organize.
Ades: I think it’s funny you say that, I have a client who lives by the rules of 100 things.
McCubin: Totally in their whole house?
Ades: Personal items, 100 things and every time they get a new thing they throw it out.
McCubin: I did a big thing in my closet, I read this article there was this movement of people who had 7 articles of clothing and they wore them for 30days. So they just rotated outfits. They were allowed accessories and shoes and so I did a big purge on my closet and now when I buy a new piece of clothing 3 pieces of clothing have to go out. But the really interesting thing that I’ve found is I’m buying much higher quality stuff that’s lasting longer, so I’m not wasting on throw away clothes. Getting dressed is so much easier because I have 4 decisions to make. I don’t stress out and I feel the anxiety go down. I get up in the morning and I know it’s these 4 pairs of pants or these 6 t-shirts and off I go.
Ades: It’s interesting to when you talk about the closet, do you think that there are identifiable rooms that are subject to more clutter than others that people should be looking out for to ask them maybe I’m living a cluttered life is it garages, is it living rooms?
McCubin: Garages. I mean garages are terrible. The joke I always make is I go America is the only country where we park out brand new 60000 car on the street and put our trash in our garage. I think garages, if your home, you look around and go “I don’t think it’s that cluttered” but look in bathroom cabinets, I mean how old is that medicine? Linen closets, when was the last time you used those towels? There becomes pockets. Kitchens get really bad. Kitchens you turn around and they get really bad. I always tell people twice a year around the winter and spring holidays do a purge of your pantry and you realize that you’re never going to eat creamed corn and donate it to the local food pantry.