Clear Your Clutter And Discover Who You Are

Lets face it, clutter is a way of life. Clutter is everywhere, in our homes and in our minds. Clutter means that you can not find stuff. That became all too evident to me last Sunday. I had bought some staples, actually 5000 of the little critters, yet neither my wife nor I could find them. I have to admit that I share Douglas Adams’ view from the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, there is a planet somewhere that is based on ‘biroid life’, a planet in another dimension, and the place that all of those missing pens can be found. For those of you that have not spent any time in England Biro is a brand of disposable pens. How many pens have you lost this week?

Clutter is not only in our physical world, it also is in our minds.

Your Spacious Self is an interesting read, it explores both our physical and mental spaces, and contains some great ideas.

My wife and I are lucky, we love to travel, and when we move we get rid of everything that is not an absolute necessity, but of course we accumulate enormous piles of clutter again in no time flat. I have a book collection in England that dates from the 70’s. My daughter has several boxes of DVD’s and other sundry stuff from our time in Canada, and I am sure that there are other repositories in other places. Do I need them? Well, likely not. If I have not read a book in forty years I probably do not need it, yet we all love to hang on to ‘stuff’.

Stephanie Bennett Vogt makes an interesting observation, physical clutter is closely related to mental clutter, get rid of one, and you get rid of the other. She also explains that it does not need to be a quantum leap, start simple, pick a part of one room and evaluate what is there. Do you use it, do you need it, and maybe most important of all is it in the most sensible place, is this the place that the item calls home?

Just think of how much time you spend looking for your car keys, or your cell phone. It may only be 5 minutes each time, but when you add up those few minutes for each occasion you will discover that they add up to a big number each year. I know I waste huge amounts of time looking for ‘stuff’. The panic last week was a lost pre-release movie on DVD. The review was needed as the movie was hitting the theaters the next day, my wife and I ransacked the house and came up empty handed. I was concerned that it had been ‘borrowed’ by someone, and that would be very bad, the digital watermark would have my name on it! And I really was not wanting to get a call from the MPAA lawyers about it. Well it did turn up, it was hiding in plain sight under one of my keyboards, but in man hours, we spent a total of 6 looking for this item. That is more than three times the amount of the time that it took me to watch it and review it!

Time is money, time is life, time wasted on clutter is time that is unproductive, and more importantly time spent increasing your mental clutter. My wife and I exchanged harsh words, it was unproductive, and unnecessary. Had I put the DVD in the right place life would have been so much better.

You can pick up your copy of Your Spacious Self from Amazon, Stephanie Bennett Vogt also has a web site with additional information.

Simon Barrett

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