Tag Archives: preventing clutter

Prevent Clutter: Make Returns Quickly

What do you do when you buy something only to later realize it was the wrong size,

something that won’t work, or something you just don’t want? Do you return it immediately? Or is your habit to set it aside to return sometime. . .? In my clutter clearing work I’ve learned that many people do nothing with items that really need to be returned. I find numerous bags of items to be returned in clients’ homes. Some haven’t been returned because the person needs to find the receipt. I have a hunch that many items get set aside and then go out of awareness

Things that need to be returned are usually a let down to the purchaser. Then they become work, another item on the over-filled to do list. I view items that need to be returned as “mistakes.” They hold mistake energy. Mistake energy is very negative. If you have too much of it around it’s easy to start feeling like you are a mistake. As more negative feelings and energy become associated with mistake items, it becomes harder and harder to motivate yourself to take action and return them.

I recently made a mistake and ordered two mattress covers that are too heavy to be

Mattress cover mistake.

Mattress cover mistake.

washed in my washing machine. It almost burned out the motor of my washing machine! What a disappointment! Not only that, I was left with a very soggy mattress cover that still needed to be dried before I could ship it back for a refund. So, not only was I disappointed, but I had several more tasks on my to do list: take the cover to a laundromat to dry it in a heavy duty commercial dryer, repackage the mattress covers, and drop the packages off at the post office.

Needless to say, I was not happy to have the extra hassle and the extra work. My first impulse was to just ignore the whole situation for awhile (I’ll bet you can identify with this response!). All three tasks were things I didn’t like doing. They all would eat my limited and valuable time. And, the tasks weren’t as important as many other things on my to do list.

This mistake, however, was hard to ignore. The queen sized mattress covers were not things  that could be stashed away to deal with when I felt like it. Their presence filled my living room. Plus, one cover was wet. If I left it alone, it would become mildewed and stink. That aspect of the situation is what really motivated me to deal with the situation. I didn’t want to add the hassle of having to fix a mildew problem. Plus, I reminded myself that the mattress covers held mistake energy, big mistake energy. I certainly didn’t need that energy affecting me and my husband.

So, I pushed aside my dread, resentment and disappointment, and the mattress cover was dried and both covers were packed up the next day. The following day I dropped them off at the post office. Mission accomplished.

When you realize an item needs to be returned, immediately put it near your car keys so you can take it back out to the car on your next trip to the car. Then, set a deadline for returning it, preferably within 1-2 weeks. Motivate yourself to get the task done by remembering that you are fixing a mistake. Also remember that when you return the item(s), you’ll get money back. Items that never get returned are worth money, money that will go down the drain if you don’t take action.