Some Thoughts On Clutter


I’ve spent a good bit of my life feeling overwhelmed. Part of this is due to my personality, but much of it is a result of filling up my life with too much stuff. The “stuff” takes many forms. A lot of these things are material items. I’m interested in so many things — I have a large number of books and magazines on a variety of topics. I love to read and I love to learn (both good things, I think) but I tend to overwhelm myself when I accumulate stacks of books and magazines that I want to “get to.”

They begin to loom over me.

Another form of stuff, for me, is paperwork. I’m afraid of tossing something I’ll someday need, or of tossing something sentimental I’ll wish I had later. My paper organization is lacking, though, to say the least. Consequently, I’m easily overwhelmed by the stacks of paper here and there and all around. My children’s artwork from preschool has only added to this. It’s so difficult for me to decide which masterpieces to keep and which to toss. So they stay in their piles until I make up my mind.

I have read Leo Babauta’s wonderful ebook, Zen To Done, and Gayle Blanke’s Throw Out Fifty Things, and Mary Caroline Walker’s Simple Solutions to Organize Your Family and Home, and Don Aslett’s books, and many, many others. I read and Leo’s new mnmlist blog, as well as David’s Simple.Organized.Life. I subscribe to Real Simple magazine. I file away their advice in the little drawers that make up my memory. There are numerous tips and tricks for decluttering our lives and becoming more organized.

But I’m reading more than doing.

So what’s the problem with clutter? Why not just accept that this is “the way I am” and move on?

The problem is that clutter makes me feel like crap. Having so much stuff everywhere keeps me tense. I don’t like the look of it and I have a hard time being productive when so much stuff is in sight. I believe that freeing myself of clutter will be a gift to myself and to my family. When I’m less overwhelmed by stuff, I’ll have more time and energy to focus on the things that matter to me most. I’m on a mission and I just may have found the help I need to reduce the clutter and streamline my life.

I’ll discuss my new favorite resource in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

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