This subject will be presented in three parts:
1. Why we are clutter-bugs.
2. Why it costs us so much.
3. How to deal with it.
CLUTTER, we eat it, drink it, breath it, buy it, move it, stuff it, stash it and store it, until we gradually build up a burden we don’t even realize we’re carrying.
How did we get into such a mess?
1. When it comes to clutter, people are either like or exactly opposite of what they learned as children.
2. If they were raised in tidy homes, they want to have the opposite type of home.
3. If they grew up in a messy home, clutter may mimic the familiar.
4. If they grew up with too little, craving lots just in case may prevail.
5. If they grew up in homes of plenty, they may be prone to out-of-control purchasing.
6. A traumatic event in the past (adoption, death, incest) can leave its scares on the present in the form of clutter.
Barbara Hemphill says:
“The people who have the most difficult time letting go of things are people who have experienced great loss in their lives; lived through the depression, etc. When you realize that all the STUFF in the world will not fill that hole in your heart, you will let go.”
We have been taught:
1. WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!
2. It is sinful or immoral to waste anything that has any usefulness left in it.
3. The more we have, the more successful we are, and what we own is proof of our success.
4. But the truth is the more we own, the more we are owned by things.
WHAT IS CLUTTER or JUNK?
Clutter—to pile up in a confused manner; to fill with scattered or disordered things that restrict movement or efficiency; a crowded or jumbled mass or accumulation; disorder. Or
All that STUFF you have all over the place that everyone keeps telling you to get rid of.
Hemphill—“Clutter is POSTPONED DECISIONS!”
CLUTTER QUIZ from Waging War on Clutter by Culp
Do you hang on to clothes that haven’t fit in years or are hopelessly out of date?
Do you keep junk mail for weeks or even months?
Do you have mail order catalogs dating back several seasons?
Is your desk so cluttered with piles of paper that you don’t have any space left to do your work?
Is the information in your address book current?
Do you own appliances, gadgets or gizmos that you never use?
Do you have enough plastic containers to store an entire month of leftovers and then some? Missing top or bottom?
Is sports equipment stashed all over your house?
Are your holiday decorations presentable when you get them out? Or, are they broken, smashed, crumpled or otherwise woebegone, so every year you end up replacing them without discarding the old ones?
Do you feel like you can’t turn around without bumping into something?
Is your attic or basement full of spare bed parts, broken lamps, old yearbooks, suitcases, uniforms, trophies, heirlooms—and what else you aren’t sure?
Is the garage so full of stuff there is no room for the car?
Do you have so many possessions that you must rent additional storage space to store them all?
Are you thinking of moving to have more room?
The Don Aslett JUNKEE ENTRANCE EXAM
I have more-than-a-year-old magazines lying around.
I am carrying around excess pounds.
I have shoes I don’t like or don’t wear.
I have machinery and appliances that don’t work.
I have bad habits that really mess up my life.
I save colognes and aftershaves I can’t stand the smell
of, or makeup I tried and don’t like.
I spend time in places I don’t really enjoy.
I put up with people who hang on me and waste my time.
IT IS JUNK IF…
1. It’s broken or obsolete and fixing it is unrealistic.
2. You’ve outgrown it, physically or emotionally.
3. You’ve always hated it.
4. It’s the wrong size, wrong color, or wrong style.
5. Using it is more bother than it’s worth.
6. It wouldn’t really affect you if you never saw it again.
7. It generates bad feelings.
8. You have to clean it, store it and insure it, but you
don’t get much use or enjoyment out of it.
9. It will shock, bore or burden the coming generation.
WHAT ELSE IS CLUTTER
1. Unfinished business
2. Hanging on to the past
–Something in your life that is overwhelming you,
that you need to bury, but you are avoiding it.
–Photographs and memorabilia that help recall
what you would like to forget.
–Not burying a dead horse
3. Indecision is clutter—all the things you put aside and
think you will decide later because of the FEAR of
regret or making a mistake
–Clutter increases in direct proportion to the
amount of time you ignore a problem.
–TODAY is the tomorrow you talked about
Stay tuned for For Part Two.