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Nontoxic Control for Clutter Bugs

June 14, 1997|From Associated Press

Cleaning closets, attic, garage and basement is a spring ritual, and there's good news for those who need an extra-strength solution to dissolve the accumulation.

There are professional organizers for hire, and classes, lectures and support groups to offer an extra push to get the job done.

For those who have gone beyond mere clutter and are up to their ears in unsorted papers and possessions, a support group can help, says Craig Jones, who is on the board of the Clutterers Anonymous World Service Organization in Santa Ana.

Jones, 40, of Los Angeles, is a graphic artist by trade and a songwriter by avocation. A few years ago, he says, the welter of papers and possessions in his apartment and the clutter of his outside activities were keeping him from working on his music and from socializing.

He attended a lecture on decluttering. At the end, he passed around a sign-up sheet, inviting others to join him in an ongoing support group.

Jones says there are other self-help groups around the country.

He has been running support groups for several years, wrote "The Clutter Song" and has discussed decluttering on an Australian radio program via long-distance telephone.

"I have it under control now," Jones says. "But I have to remind myself not to bring in stuff I don't need and to be willing to throw things away."

When the attic got so bad that she couldn't get from one side to the other, Christine Stiassni of Greenwich, Conn., decided to hire a pro.

"We had classic clutter: papers, mementos and old clothes and a large attic you couldn't wade through," Stiassni says. "I felt I couldn't get into anything else until I got the attic cleared, and I was getting depressed."

Stiassni called in space organizer Stephanie Schur of White Plains, N.Y., who charges $60 to $65 an hour. After more than three months--with homework assignments between sessions--the attic was clear. So were the closets and drawers.

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