Some of you have asked me “Am I a hoarder? Or how do you know I am a hoarder?’ It goes back to if you have to ask, well, yes you probably are. But before we get to the hoarding stage, let’s break this down. What is Clutter? The formal definition is:
verb: clutter; 3rd person present: clutters; past tense: cluttered; past participle: cluttered; present participle: cluttering
1. A collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.
“the attic is full of clutter”
An untidy state. “the room was in a clutter of smelly untidiness”
We all have it from time to time…. There is no doubt we do. Even the best of you, have a bad day and don’t put things where they need to go. I don’t think we’ve have gone into a house that doesn’t have a “junk drawer”, some worse than others, but we all have them. Most junk drawers contain… clutter. Untidiness, and small parts of our lives. Box tops, screwdrivers, kiddie scissors, and loose change. What becomes clutter is not intended to be just clutter. Think about it, for the loose change or even the dollars we have found in the most random places, could buy a nice dinner out for my extended family and yours, but it is not clutter. If it were in your bank account adding interest to your account you would not consider it clutter, but a loose dollar and some change littering the dresser or kitchen drawer is then clutter.
I once went to a client’s home, to decorate for Christmas, yet the client proceeded to tell me all about the other rooms that were “cluttered”. She opened a door, as far as it would barely open to what she called the office, and the envelopes and papers were a 6 ft tall mountain of clutter. It was the myth of a paperless world exemplified! There was outdated mail, checks and important papers in there, but until they were all where they needed to be, it was all just clutter. She wasn’t a hoarder of mail, who collected and couldn’t part with it. She just filled a room, littered a room in a disorderly manner. The reason clutter happens, is more than anything time management or lack thereof. The young mom with three children in school who is working, and managing a home, throws a few things in the junk drawer, saying “I’ll put that up when I have time” yet finally, when the drawer cannot close without her saying a string of curse words, dumps the whole thing in a bag. “It’s just clutter”, she says, “I can replace all this”, and tosses the bag in the garbage. Or the man who’s shop full of tools and small machines, cannot find the rolls of electrical tape, runs back over to his local home repair shop and buys yet another. Why? Because of the clutter in his shop. Yep, the fishing gear, the extra bike parts, and all the owner manuals to some of the tools that still has and some to those that finally burned out hid the little round spool of tape that he knew he had. So, those procrastinators, and those with too much going on in your life think for a minute of your biggest disorganized space…. It looks like that, because you, your cohorts, or family have the mentality, that I will get to it later. In a procrastinators world, he’s got it all figured! He can eat when hungry, sleep when tired, and don’t do anything to difficult, then your pretty successful! But living with our satisfaction only coming from instant gratification, is that we don’t have purpose! We wander and feel worse and worse about ourselves when we don’t meet deadlines, or fail.
A great cure for clutter is quite simple. Be a rational decision maker! Think long -term, do things that make sense and quit thinking like a child. Divide your junk drawer so that all the loose change collects into a bin until you have enough to take to the bank and cash it in. A bin to hold all the pens and pencils, stamps and paperclips. Slow down and intentionally put mail where it goes, and money where it belongs and priorities where they should be. IF you can do this on the littlest of projects, you can do it in all your life. Be Intentional, Genuine and meaningful about your actions, because then you will have fulfilled your dreams, and desires and cut away all the clutter.