I recently watched a documentary on clutter. First of all, I must admit that I was pleased that I don’t have the level of clutter in the houses that were shown. These were typical American homes; however, these weren’t hoarders, just the usual clutter that we’ve probably all seen. You know, where you can’t walk anywhere except in the ally-ways that have been made. None of these houses looked like that. So, they weren’t talking about the extreme clutter. Just the mostly normal amount of clutter that most families live with on a daily basis.
However, while I was watching the documentary I was wondering what the effect on people is from just having the “normal” amount of American clutter. Some of the information that I found includes weight-gain, stress, sleeping problems and anxiety. This I can believe, since even though I don’t have the amount of clutter I saw in some of those houses, I do have more than my fair share – and it drives me crazy.
While I have no ambition to become a minimalist, I do want to stream-line my life. I know that I’ve got too much. Who really needs thirty or so journals? Well, apparently, I do, since I keep buying them. Or how about twenty or so plastic and stainless steel drinking bottles? Yes, even though I’ve gone through them, gotten rid of a bunch, somehow, I’ve managed to end up with more of them. Seriously people? Do we really need more?
So, my project for the next few months so going to be getting rid of the clutter. Have you done this? How did it work out for you? And, if you accomplished this goal, have you seen any differences in how you feel? Let me know in the comments below.
I recently read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. While Marie Kondo usually works with people de-cluttering their homes in Japan, this created a little bit of a cultural difference with the book. However, I thought that a lot of her ideas had quite a bit of merit.
I live in a house, that, while I don’t have a lot of space for clothes (mainly because my husband is a clothes-horse), I do have a lot space in which to store extra food. My kitchen is small with limited cupboards, but I have two large cabinets in my basement that I fill with extra food. This is great, since I can buy a lot of one thing while it’s on sale, and then can use it up without having to pay full price. However, I can also end up with a ton of something that I don’t use all that often. For example, I recently went to the store, was convinced that I needed another bottle of maple syrup and when I got home realized that I already had two other bottles. If I had an organized cabinet, and had actually looked to see if I needed syrup, I never would have spent the money on it; thus, proving the point that I need to get a little more organized.
Marie Kondo repeatedly makes the point that you should only keep something if you love it. If you don’t, get rid of it. That statement really gives me a lot to think about. I don’t know about you, but my house if filled with things that I really don’t even like. I keep some things for sentimental reasons, other things simply because I’ve always had them. This just adds to the clutter in my house. I’m not even sure how exactly my house got to be so filled with the stuff it’s filled with. We’ve been living here for 23 years, so it only stands to reason that we’d have things that we really should get rid of.
Often our stuff becomes too important in our lives, and our life becomes secondary. I seriously wonder if we do that to ourselves on purpose. Do we acquire things so we can distract ourselves from ourselves? Hmm a good question. I’ll have to think about that.
The point of this is that we seem to need stuff, and then that stuff can become our worst nightmare. Clutter can confuse, frustrate and make you crazy. I hate the way my house always seems to be full of clutter. I’ll go through a period of throwing some things away, but then it suddenly becomes cluttered again. I’m going to start going through my stuff and start getting rid of it. All this is in an effort to find peace of mind. Clutter seems to destroy the ability for me to have peace of mind. Maybe this will help. Who’s with me?