Thursday, May 14, 2009


Everyone encounters clutter somewhere in their lives. Sometimes it’s a long looming to-do list or the constant bombardment by advertising messages, but many times it’s simply the volume of things, objects, items that surround us in our lives.

Cars, bedrooms, tables, and floors become the convenient storage place for things that we’re too busy to deal with at the time. Eventually, things that were significant are forgotten and insignificant things that we shouldn’t keep never get thrown away, such as a receipt from long-ago night. A duplicate item might be mistakenly bought because the original was forgotten.
Some people are very organized and almost obsessive about maintaining a clutter-free space, while others allow things to pile up until there’s no more than a small path through the mounds of stuff. Most of us are somewhere in between.

Thinking about how the things we own affects our lives makes me wonder where we each get our clutter-gene. I’m sure part of it is what we grow up around and how are parents treat the physical things in their lives during our childhoods. It is probably also influenced by our personalities. I often lament the inaccuracies of poorly crafted and applied stereotypes, but they do exist for a reason. Accountants are known for being organized because their jobs require it and artist are stereotyped as scattered and unconcerned with maintaining orderly workspaces.

For me, the fight against clutter is a constant battle that goes back and forth. My stuff will start to take over when I least expect and then I get into a cleaning frenzy to beat back the clutter than keeps creeping up. Certain spaces I tend to keep very clean, but others deteriorate rapidly, filling up with items that I use on a regular basis. It’s a personal battle. I know I function better when my environment is clean and uncluttered, but I can never seem to keep it that way. It’s hard to find the motivation to get moving and tackle the mess.

Clutter is a part of all of our lives and we each have a different comfort level when it comes to the amount of clutter we can stand. Finding that balance between doing important or enjoyable things and combating clutter is the hard part. I encourage you to evaluate the amount of clutter in your life. Maybe it’s time to de-clutter your life and relieve some stress by de-cluttering your space. It can be therapeutic. I promise I’ll join you in the effort.

Declutter 101

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