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Clutter.

We all have it. Don’t we?

We can’t seem to get away from it.

It plagues different aspects of our lives. Right?

For some of us, clutter rules our world more than others.

Once clutter starts to accumulate, it appears hard to break through the piles and piles and piles of ever-growing stuff in our living rooms, bedrooms, garages, basements, and office spaces.

Yet, what exactly is clutter?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary gives definitions for clutter when used as either a noun or verb.

When used as a noun, clutter is defined as “a crowded or confused mass or collection.”

When used as a verb, clutter is defined as “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.”

Both definitions let us know clutter – a scattered or disordered collection of things – lacks order and reduces our effectiveness.

Two good perspectives on what clutter is – wouldn’t you agree?

Here’s another one to consider.

Nanci McGraw, author of Organized for Success! 95 Tips for Taking Control of Your Time, Your Space, and Your Life says, “at the core of all clutter are things – trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, and so on that are either no longer needed or are needed but disorganized.”

When I think about the clutter I see in my home and office space, I must admit, my clutter fits these descriptions.

How about your clutter?

Have you realized it consists of trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, or things you want to keep but must find a more organized system for keeping it?

Or, have you discovered your clutter consists of trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, or things you no longer need but must find time to throw away?

I’m there with you. I’ve realized my clutter needs to be both – organized better or finally thrown away.

Yet, isn’t it hard to throw away things you think you need or want?

Those trinkets got as a gift; papers from the kids art collection; souvenirs from vacation; books intended to be read; household items needed for later; or anything you want to hold onto because you may need it – are hard to throw away!

Wouldn’t you agree?

Perhaps the best thing to do is to find a better way to organize clutter. Get new bins. Find an extra drawer. Add a new bookshelf.

That should do it right?

Wrong.

If the goal is to de-clutter, the clutter would simply remain. Sure, it would be better organized, but it would still exist in our space, possibly preventing our effectiveness.

Here’s our challenge, now that we know exactly what clutter is, we must find a way to use this information to de-clutter our lives.

I know how I will use it, what about you?

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