It's About Time
Perfect clutter level is matter of tolerance
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is clutter, it seems. Did you read the "Bless this mess" article in the Dec. 21 edition of the Star-Bulletin?
It was about the anti-anti-clutter movement, whose proponents say yes to mess and urge people to embrace their disorder.
They claim that there's no need to feel badly about being messy, that being messy saves time and money otherwise spent organizing and buying organizing containers.
I agree with the first part of their belief -- that people needn't feel badly about their messes. Clutter and mess happen and are part of life. But I disagree with the second part -- that being messy saves time and money.
As a professional organizer, I've met many clients who are embarrassed about their cluttered offices and homes. And I can't count the number of times people have said to me, "I bet your house is perfectly organized!"
How surprised they are when I tell them it isn't. That's not my goal. I like a home with a bit of disorder -- enough to be comfortable, yet orderly enough to run smoothly.
But Being really messy doesn't save time or money; it wastes both.
How much time does it take to find something in the mess? Will it be dirty, wrinkled or broken? And if we can't find it, don't we sometimes go and buy another? Haven't we all done this? Then we end up with two or three, which adds to the clutter. So, what's best, clutter or clarity? Disorder or order?
It all depends.
People have different "TLCs" (tolerance levels for clutter). Some can't stand any, while others can tolerate and even thrive in it.
I encourage you to know yourself and what your TLC is. And live within that level.
If clutter doesn't bother you, and if you can function in life and work, embrace your mess. But for those whose clutter has become an eyesore, time waster and source of frustration and fatigue, I invite you to do something about it.
One step is to extract from the clutter your treasures and needed items. Then free yourself from the rest.
In the meantime, don't feel badly about the mess. That in itself would be a time waster!
Happy embracing or discarding of your mess!
See you in two weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org