Let’s see about “uncluttered”, then. At first sight, it sounds like you ‘only’ need to get rid of the clutter in order to be uncluttered, right? It’s a nice theory, but life throws us a couple of curveballs and things are not quite as neat. What does uncluttered mean in the first place? Is it that you don’t see anything upsetting (everything could be hiding in disorganised heaps in crammed drawers and cupboards)? Or is it a sense of calm that results from not having any clutter to worry about (digital nomads may not have many items to log around, but can still be cluttered wherever they are because they spread their items around the room)? Does an overflowing wardrobe count as clutter?
As you can see, it’s hard to pin down a definition for clutter. I often tell my clients that “one person’s treasure is another person’s clutter, and vice versa” and believe this to be accurate. It’s all in the mind, it seems. And yet: if we apply sheer practical criteria, then clutter could simply be “what’s in the way of living life easily”, or “surplus to requirement”.
It’s useful to find out what YOU consider clutter to be defined as, because that can actually help with identifying what actually IS clutter in your life. And then get rid of it and make your space uncluttered.
Now let’s look at “organised”. Someone with a lot of clutter may be very organised. In fact, they probably have to be in order to find anything. Disorganisation can make you lose time, become unmotivated, being late and stressed all the time. Being organised means that you are on top of whatever needs doing, you can find things easily, and you manage everything without being stressed too much.
There is, of course, an outward element to ‘being organised’: homes tend to look less messy, more streamlined and generally better maintained than disorganised ones. Organisation often involves systems to keep things running smoothly, with brings us to the subject of maintenance: any organised system needs regular maintenance, and lack thereof can lead to a disorganised look. That, in turn, can lead to a cluttered space, simply because regular tasks are not done at all, or properly enough. Not putting things back to where they belong leads to accumulation of more stuff in the wrong place, and having to scrounge around to find whatever you are looking for in a sea of other things not only is time-consuming and stressful, but also a sign of disorganisation.
If you feel like doing some homework, why not take a look around your living room and for each item you see, ask yourself:
If you have enjoyed reading this, you may find these other articles interesting:
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.