Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Got Clutter? (#1 of 11)

In a movie I watched last night, the man expecting his girlfriend to visit for the first time unrolled an area rug, threw all the “stuff” lying all over the apartment onto it, rolled it up and tossed it all into the garage. Zap! His apartment was neat and tidy. 

“That,” I said to my husband, “is what I want to do!”

Although peace, purpose, and joy characterize my life, I long for the serenity of neatly organized space around me. Not sterile and devoid of pleasing things to look at and to do, but neither do I enjoy a jumble of things that need to be moved around all the time to find other things, or to clear space for guests (or, often, for myself).

Some people are enlivened and inspired by evidence of activity, busyness, and lots going on. For me, it registers chaos. Yet because I am active, busy, and involved in lots of things (and am descended from pack rats), my home is cluttered. The tiny living room holds many, many drums of different kinds, a stage-size vibraphone, multiple audio system components, stacks of CD’s and DVD’s, the television set, lots of mail, dog grooming equipment,a file cabinet, boxes, my needlework supplies, the dog, her favorite blanket and pillow,  and, of course, the furniture – all of it comfortable and capacious, including one chair piled high with clean laundry waiting to be folded – and photographs and decorative artifacts from around the world. 

This is the neatest room in the house. The other rooms hold heaps of stuff from a multitude of times and places, most of it in occasional use. No room lacks books in abundance, despite my ownership of an e-reader that is amply loaded.

I am inspired to move all the “stuff” we don’t need underfoot into the garage. But naturally, the garage is a problem area, too. So I am hatching a plan in which I INTEND (the first Ingredient in my Recipe for a Healed Life) to add to my peace of mind and my day-to-day level of joy, by committing to a new GOAL (Ingredient # 4): to declutter the space in which I live. And I’m starting with the garage, for reasons which will become obvious, as I will be tracking Project DeClutter on this blog.

A lovely, talented, successful, and generous blogger named Amanda (see her blog here) has shared with me some recommendations for blogging. She told me that:

  1. Readers appreciate short posts.
  2. Posts should be frequent and regular.
  3. Readers like lists.

So – welcome to my personal ClutterBlog! Join me in my adventure in decluttering, or just cheer me on. Send along your tips and personal experiences. I’ll post briefly (500 words max., I promise!) once every week, and every post will contain a list.

(To be continued next week.)                                                             


  1. Best wishes for every success, Samantha. Since you say your house is a clutter and that peace, purpose, and joy characterize your life, I'm curious to know how things progress, so I subscribed to your blog by email. I saw your link in Lifewriters Forum.

  2. Thanks, Wayne! I'm glad you plan to stay tuned. I had never heard of Lifewriters Forum, but I'm very grateful that my link found its way to your attention. It looks like something I would like to join.

  3. I desperately need to declutter. It is an ongoing project and need. However, I don't think I will start with the garage. It is far too hot in August, but I have plans for it in the fall. I did recently empty two plastic bins from the garage so it was a start. I'm drowning in books and I've run out of bookshelf space. My Kindle is getting stuffed as well. Let me see what else (other than books) I can get rid of. :-)

  4. Ain't it awful? Me, too, about books. There's a dumpster next to a church in my neighborhood for recycling books, and I keep dumping books into it, but the ones at home seem to reproduce while I'm out of the house . . . . But I love books so much, I think I really need to have some around me. I also wonder whether my Kindle will run out of space . . . .

  5. Hmmm, could I put the resident pack rat in that rug and roll him out to the garage? Guess not. He's pretty useful and fun to have around. I'm hoping your adventure might appeal to him. Meanwhile I think I'll take a few minutes and toss a few more things from my own space which is getting a bit claustrophobic.

    Can't wait to hear the rest...