REFLECTION: When in comes to overload at work and at home, the stuff of life can be a major source of irritation. Now, I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with things, but for me, despite knowing better and despite the best of intentions, I find it easy to ignore growing accumulations until they can no longer be contained or other things start competing for the space.
Case in point #1: A decade or more of computer back up disks and original software only recently got sorted out when available off-site back up storage space shrunk and something had to give. The sort and sift was long overdue, since I’d already shifted to automated backups using external drives that swap in and out with regularity. The space crunch forced the issue.
Case #2: The winter survival gear and snow shovel only moved out of the car and into the garage in early June when I needed room in the trunk to haul plants and supplies for the garden. The winter boots and coats only migrated from the front hall closet at the end of June when I needed space in same for summer houseguests. Well, not the guests themselves – but you know what I mean!
Case #3: Old financial and client files were recently tossed at the point at which the more current ones could no longer be crammed into file drawers and bankers’ boxes or safely piled in their vicinity.
Maybe it’s a good thing that space limitations force a spat of dejunking – otherwise, we’d all be living and working in ever shrinking corners of our offices and homes.
However, what I have noted recently is this. The time required to ACTUALLY dejunk and unclutter any overflowing collection is ALWAYS less than the total time ALREADY spent being irritated by the problem and thinking about addressing it.
And from that, I derive this guiding principle: Act sooner rather than later! It‘s much easier on the mind and kinder to the psyche to clean up the mess, than it is to be thinking about cleaning up the mess.
- What place, space, or accumulation of stuff is irritating you?
- What moderate expenditure of time and energy spent clearing away would reduce some of the overload in your life?
- When, exactly, will you invest that hour (or less) in project sift, sort, and stow?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I am convinced that a calm, quiet and harmonious interior can be as beneficial to health as a sensible diet and regular exercise.” – Kelly Hoppen
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: If some of your summer vacation time will be devoted to sifting and sorting on the homefront, you may be interested in Lorie Marrero’s recent book: The Clutter Diet – The Skinny On Organizing Your home and Taking Control Of Your Life. You can find out more about the book and Lorie’s online organizing services at: http://www.clutterdiet.com
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Pause, Seasonally Adjusted, reader KH writes: “I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy taking a pause out of my day to read your articles. I can almost always relate to what you have reflected on in the article, and it gets me thinking about things I need to do. Maybe I should contact a friend or colleague I haven’t touched base with in a while. Maybe it’s a reminder to be thankful that I am so blessed to live in this wonderful country of Canada. Maybe I just need to sit back smell the roses and spend some quiet time by myself. I know that whatever your article is about it touches something within me, and I want to thank you for that. Please keep up the good work; and thanks for helping keep me grounded and reflective.”