Thursday, June 25, 2009

How did I get here?

I have found another clutter control book in my clutter at home. How many of these books have we bought over the years? If you are like me, they are all appealing because of the promises they make to rid your life of stress and disorganization, but the reality is often quite different. And, not surprisingly, they are all very similar in the message they deliver.

In this one, called Unclutter Your Home: 7 Simple Steps, 700 Tips and Ideas by Donna Smallin (Pownal, VT.: Storey Books, 1999. pages 11-13), the author gives a nice list of the Top 10 Reasons Why Clutter Collects. Here is her list:
1. You think you’ll need it someday.
2. It has sentimental value.
3. You’ve got a big house.
4. You’ve got a small house.
5. You are chronically disorganized.
6. You leave stuff out because you’re afraid you’ll never find it again.
7. You feel guilty about throwing things away.
8. You feel like you never have time to get organized.
9. You were brought up by pack rats.
10. You’re stuck on the “work, shop, spend” treadmill.

I don’t know what was the source she used to determine that these are the top ten, because she mentions other reasons that seem to me to be equally at the root of the problem: our lives have become increasingly complex; gathering clutter compounds the problem, causing many to buy larger houses that then leave us less time to deal with the clutter; we develop emotional attachment to stuff; clutter develops from an instinct for self-preservation and feeling of insecurity; we are indecisive in how we deal with clutter; and she says that the main reason is because we don’t know where to start!

Knowing these reasons might be useful in our effort to conquer clutter. We should examine these reasons (or excuses) and try to eliminate any stumbling block to our success!

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