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Monday, June 1, 2015


Do you struggle with clutter? I think everyone does to one degree or another. Clutter happens when life happens. If you don't have some clutter somewhere, you're either OCD or you aren't living. Life is a messy process, especially when you share your house with children.

The clutter is getting on my nerves lately. Too much has just been piled up and labeled, "I'll deal with this later." Does later ever come? I'm beginning to think not. Flat surfaces accumulate papers and random objects faster than I can spit. I get that some of it is necessary, but when every surface has something on it, I start twitching. I can't find space to work.

I recently shifted my center of operations from the coffee table in the living room to a desk in the family room. One reason was that the coffee table wasn't the right height and didn't give me enough space. The second was that my son infiltrated that space with his homework and projects until he took over and shoved my stuff out. It's a nefarious attack plan—just start adding your clutter until it takes over the space. Whenever someone starts cleaning it up, shout, "I'm using that. I need that for a project. That's MY homework!" Not that my son did that verbally. We're good at sneaky attacks in my house. It's all a territorial dispute, just ask the dogs and cats.

Anyway, I'm looking at the stacks of papers and clutter on my desk and realizing that all of it is mine this time. I think I've got too many projects going on. But my thesis is well underway, which accounts for most of the papers. Bills are another stack that just seem to keep coming no matter how often I file them away. The rest of it is just random things I'm working on, like recipe books and science classes and other stuff like that.

Part of what triggered this post is watching my husband's family still dealing with all the things his parents left when they died. Eighty years of living leaves behind a lot of clutter. I think I've finally dealt with the emotional clutter, though the physical stuff is still getting sorted even after almost 18 months. Material clutter is easy to see and sort, it's the stuff we surround ourselves with in the process of living.

I'm working on decluttering my house and my life. One small step at a time.

How do you deal with clutter in your life? The physical clutter we can easily organize and reduce, but what about the emotional baggage and clutter we collect? I'm realizing I have a lot that needs to be dealt with. I do it partly through my stories. The rest I'm still figuring out.