The Ultimate Clutter Control Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Clutter Control Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/trekandshoot

About This Quiz

I think I can, I know I can. That's what you should say before you even attempt to de-clutter your home. Fortunately, everyone can do it by following certain simple steps. Take this quiz and see whether you qualify as a clutterer, a hoarder or none of the above.
Why were Homer and Langley Collyer in the news in the 1940s?
because they were both found buried under heaps of clutter
The Collyer brothers were so entrenched in clutter that it took days till the second brother was also found buried under the piles.
because they were both outlaws
because they were both de-cluttering experts

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How does "clutter" mean different things to different people?
Some people see it as negative while others see it as positive.
There are different opinions as to the linguistic source of the word.
It's all relative.
For one person, clutter is his jumble of papers on the table. For another, it is his inability to even find the table at all. It's all relative.

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What's the fundamental basis for de-cluttering?
You have to need to do it.
You have to want to do it.
It has to come from within you. If you want to de-clutter, then you can achieve it. Otherwise, no action will help.
You have to ask someone to help you do it.

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Environment, _____ and _____ play a role in how clutter accumulates and is controlled.
socioeconomic status, profession
work style, personality
There are three factors that play a part here: environment, work style and personality.
gender, age

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If getting things under control is the first half of de-cluttering, what is the second half?
not hoarding
training your family members
maintaining it
The second half is maintaining it. Think of it like this: Getting things under control is a short-term action, whereas maintaining the mess is a long-term one.

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What is the first step in the de-cluttering process?
sorting out the kitchen area
throwing out what you don't need
identifying your goal
You start at the very beginning -- identifying your goal.

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How can a table or floor be of help to you in the de-cluttering process?
You can use them to stand on: the floor, for low places and the table, for high ones.
They provide a surface to spread out and work on.
They are both surfaces for spreading things out as you sort them.
They can't. Only the table is helpful for writing your reorganization list.

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When you sort out, you need to make three piles or categories of items. What are they?
for weekdays, for weekends, for vacations
play with, work with, live with
keep, donate, toss
1)Keep the things you want; 2)donate what is useful for others; and 3)toss what is not salvageable at all.

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When deciding what to keep, what should you ask yourself?
"Does it warrant making space to keep it?"
Ask yourself if it's worth making the space to put it in.
"What will my friends think of me if I keep it?"
"What will it cost me to replace?"

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Each item you keep must have:
a clear label on it somewhere
a logical, convenient place to store it
Whatever you choose to keep must have a logical and convenient place to store it.
intrinsic value

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A person who hoards everything and has poor time-management skills is said to be:
unlucky
unfortunate
prone to clutter
Such a person is prone to clutter. That being said, he can still learn the skills of de-cluttering if he is willing.

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What would you use garbage bags for when you organize your clutter?
trash and donations
You would use them for dual purposes: for holding trash that's going to be tossed and for holding donations that are going to be donated as soon as you can take them somewhere suitable.
trash only
donations only

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How often should you sort out the mail?
every weekend, if you have time
once a day, as you bring it into the house
You should do it daily. As you empty the mail box, sort out the mail immediately, making sure to toss the junk mail.
as often as needed so that it doesn't build up

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When is a good time to purchase storage bins and shelves?
at the start of the sorting process
in the middle of the sorting process
at the end of the sorting process
The best time is when you know what's going to go in them, and this can only be established at the end of the sorting process.

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Is there a place for hiring professional help to sort out your home?
Yes, it is actually preferable to doing it yourself.
Yes. Sometimes the professional is objective and wise enough to help you in a way that you and your family cannot.
In some instances, a professional is better equipped at helping you than your family members or you yourself.
No, it is never a good idea.

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Who can help you de-clutter your home in a professional manner?
the International Organization of Home Organizers (IOHO)
the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)
Try the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). They're highly capable.
Professional Organizers Anonymous (POA)

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How can clutter impact on your health?
It can lead to heart disease.
It can cause arthritis or rheumatism.
It can be a fire hazard or a breeding ground for rodents and bugs.
For one thing, it can be a fire hazard or even a breeding ground for unwelcome pests. For another, it can generate dust, which triggers allergies.

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What are common psychological factors that lead to cluttering?
hallucinations or delusions
feelings of low self-esteem or fear of failure
Feelings of low self-esteem and fear of failure are both common factors. Another one is attention deficit disorder (ADD).
feelings of guilt or post-traumatic stress syndrome

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Which of these is incapable of deciding what to keep and what to throw away?
the hoarder and the clutterer
the clutterer
the hoarder
The hoarder can't decide. Thankfully, the clutterer can, although he or she may need a certain push to do so.

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How much debris and waste was recovered from the Collyer house in the 1940s?
a mere 100 pounds (45 kilos)
an unbelievable 1,000 pounds (454 kilos)
a whopping 100 tons
A whopping 100 tons of debris and waste was found there. No wonder the brothers got buried by it!

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/trekandshoot

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