I received a comment from a new reader that other day and I like the way he described clutter. Here is what Mike wrote (keeping in mind that this comment was in response to my natural progression decluttering post)…
I think cans of soup more than bottles of shampoo. Make a conscious effort to become aware of what sits stashed on the shelves and work your way through it.
As for keeping things I don’t want or like, forget it. They go to Goodwill or Boomerangs and I repent, but I will not prolong the stagnation of clutter.
The words “prolong the stagnation of clutter” really spoke to me and inspired today’s post.
Is your stuff alive or stagnant?
I looked up the word stagnant before writing this post it felt like the right word to use but I thought I had better check. After reading some of the definitions on the Web I decided that I liked it even better to describe clutter. Here is a collection of those definitions…
Not circulating or flowing; not growing or changing; without force or vitality; lacking freshness, motion, flow, progress, or change; stale; motionless; still; a state of inactivity; Something that is suffering from not being active or moving forward such as polluted water or a person stuck in a situation.
Does that sound like some of the stuff you have stashed away around your house. I know it sounds just like a lot of the stuff that I have discarded over the last thirteen months. It is not that these items are bad or useless it is just that we are not using them to their potential. They are lying around stagnant, unused, unloved and unneeded by us.
Identifying the stagnant items really isn’t that hard. We usually only have to look at them to know we would rather they go, even though we try to justify their existence in our home. If the bad feeling about an item such as guilt, obligation or fear of needing it in the future overshadows the good feeling it emanates then there is a good chance this is just a stagnant object in your home.
On the other hand, there are many things around our homes that are alive, figuratively speaking. There are three basic ways in which these items are alive to us…
- Items that have a use and are being used regularly whether for their intended purpose or otherwise.
- Items of beauty that are out on display and being appreciated for their beauty.
- Items that are alive with history that you refer to on occasion and save for future generations.
Granted there are plenty of things that fall into all of these categories that could be considered clutter to some. But we are not talking about the general consensus of what is clutter but what is alive or stagnant in your home. If it is alive to you when you see this item and know at a glance that it is useful to you or its presence fills you with happiness. Then it is unlikely to be considered clutter by you and is something you are likely to keep.
As I said to Lyn in a reply to her comment the other day – Once the clutter is gone the organising almost takes care of itself. When all you have left in your home are items of beauty or purpose their position in the home becomes logical. It would be impractical to place them anywhere else except where they are most useful, which makes organising redundant.
Today’s Declutter Item
This is a classic case of outdated clutter. 2 megapixels just doesn’t cut it these days but someone was happy to take it off our hands for $10 on eBay.
- It was a crazy day but everything ran like clockwork
- That I was too busy today to notice until about 4pm that it was so hot – my thermometer read 38°C when I looked at it at 4:30pm (that’s 100.4°F).
- Liam was given clearance at the Brain Injury Clinic today- he passed his physical, neuro psych and speech testing and the Doctor in charge of his case gave him clearance to remove the medical restriction on his licence.
- Contentment – this can be fleeting at time even though I feel I live a privileged life but today I am feeling content.
- Once again enjoying my crafting – there is hope I will get through all those supplies yet.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.