I am always throwing and giving things away. Clutter has always annoyed me. However, as much as I detest clutter, I am ... by it and even ... to it. I can now clearly see I'm kind of a
I am always throwing and giving things away. Clutter has always annoyed me. However, as much as I detest clutter, I am surrounded by it and even contribute to it.
I can now clearly see I'm kind of a clutter snob. I have looked down on people that are pack rats and just can't seem to get it together. Their desks look like a toxic waste dump site and it takes them forever to find one thing buried in the mess.
On closer inspection, however, I create and live in clutter as well. My desk is not threatening to break under the weight of un-dealt with paper, but I have almost 100 E-mails that I need to process. I have a tiny digital recorder so I can record ideas and information at the time I think of them. My plan is to listen to them daily and do whatever needs to be done with the information. Instead, I've used up almost all of the recording time and haven't done much with what I've recorded. Oh my God, I'm suffering from digital clutter! I've updated an age old problem and brought it into the 21st century. You, too?
OK, enough complaining -- time for some action. If we feel overwhelmed and depressed a little too often, getting rid of physical clutter may not cut it for us. It may be time for some judicious life pruning. When I get in this mode, anything that doesn't move me toward my most important goals or recharge my physical, emotional or spiritual batteries is outta here!
If you're feeling the physical and/or emotional weight of clutter of any kind, here's a few ideas to create a clearing in your life. Some of these may seem insignificant, but every little simplification adds up just as every unwanted aspect of clutter does.
= If you keep getting E-mail newsletters that you always delete anyway, use the unsubscribe link and get off their list. If that doesn't work for some reason, use the filtering tools in your E-mail program to automatically send these messages into the E-trash.
= Go through your magazines and catalogs and pull out the pages that you want to save for later, then throw the rest of them away. Put the articles you want to read, the images that speak to your heart, and the things you want to buy in separate folders.
= If there's something you deal with every day, such as your hair dryer, an unsharpened knife or a crappy pen that just aggravates you unmercifully, throw it away! Or fix it or replace it. These "little" stressors are a major cause of physic clutter.
= For a general life malaise, I prescribe looking at what you're spending your time on and shaking things up. It amazes me how such intelligent creatures as we can be lulled into mindless, joyless, useless repetition. Some things that have worked for me when I get into a funk are to change my morning routine, change the time I get up or go to bed, change what type of exercise I do, call people I haven't talked to in years, do something I haven't done in years (water gun fight, anyone?) In other words, drop something and pick up something new.
Suzanne is a recovering intellectual/technical person who rediscovered her love of truth and writing at the age of 39. She now shares her quirky views on life with anyone that cares to read them. Her main project of the moment can be explored at