Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Case for Less

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
~ Albert Einstein

Week 2 of Uncluttered. The assignment, to spend an hour or two taking a "tour" of each room in the house, noting both how much the room is used and the level of clutter in that room. Then, go back and remove any obvious clutter that we have seen. No hard decisions, nothing questionable, just collect at least one large garbage bag of unwanted items throughout the house. (Separate into donate and recycle afterward.)

I wanted to do this with my wife and, thankfully, she was all for it. Our schedules being what they were, we didn't actually get to the task until Friday. Of course, some rooms were worse than others. We did it, though, and I think we were both surprised at the pile we had accumulated in just that initial, cursory sweep of the house.



In the bag was a collection of shower stall accessories that never got put up and under that was a well used compact indoor grill and an old waffle iron. In the rectangular bin were all sorts of miscellaneous pieces of flooring from when we installed laminate on the second floor. That gold thing is a desk lamp that had not worked for years! 
 
It's somewhat astounding, to me, that all this stuff was lying around even though my wife and I both knew that it was useless to us. We had been keeping it purely out of momentum, or better yet the lack thereof.
 
What I found most difficult about this exercise was not getting rid of things as much as it was knowing where to stop. Once you start to clean out clutter, the very look of that progress motivates you to do more. In almost every room, I wanted to keep going, even though we would never have finished the assignment in a reasonable amount of time if I had. It was, in the end, a powerful motivator, and I suppose that was the point of the assignment. Yes, there is much work to do but, little by little, progress is made.

There is a Facebook group for the current members of this class. Based on posts I've seen, there is a very wide spectrum of progress, ranging from people posting that they are intimidated to even start to those who somehow managed to seemingly completely declutter major portions of their home already. What has been nice about the Facebook group is how encouraging everyone is of each other. We're all in this together, and it looks like we all want to see each other at the finish line.

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