How Not to Unclutter

"An organized desk must be a sign of an organized mind."
~ John M

Sometimes I fear that I'm developing an obsession with being organized. I wonder if I'm spending more time getting organized than taking action. Maybe I just enjoy the time spent setting up a calendar, writing a budget, or preparing to clean out a closet. Maybe as long as there is something to "put in order" I'll be happy.

I imagine myself to be some sort of superhero. My goal is to fight the forces of disorder and to remedy whatever is lacking methodical arrangement or function. To remove the complexities, disorganization, and undue busyness of the world.

It's getting to the point where I must leave some place in my life, maybe even many places to keep disorganized. Why? It's like having money in the bank. I'll always have something to rely on when things just become too organized. I need to fight disorder to help give my life some meaning.

Whenever I try to unclutter my life I only make it worse. If I clean up a section of my basement filled with cardboard boxes with items I haven't seen in a decade I become very sentimental. I wonder if I will need one of the items someday. So I move the contents from one box into an empty box only discarding spider webs and rotting papers.

"I thought you were going to clean up the mess. All you've done is move things from one box to another," my wife said before walking away shaking her head.

Now I can understand why the public storage systems are so successful. That gave me an idea. I filled a box with the items I liked best and hurriedly put it in the trunk of my car. Back in the house I told my wife I was taking a box to the dump. I pass a storage lot on my way to the dump. I rented a space at the self-storage lot the week before.

When I opened the space I'd rented a feeling of peace came over me. It was too beautiful for words. With watery eyes I placed the box in the back flush against the corner. I found the solution! My basement would be clean and neat while I could still keep my "stuff" even if  "stuff"  is defined as: "material things generally, especially when unidentified, worthless, or unwanted".


  1. I find it almost impossible to unclutter my life or my mind. Yet... I seem to try to do it constantly and always fail. Or I may clear away the clutter for a bit, but it eventually reasserts itself. And sometimes I find the clutter comforting, kind of like organized chaos. Now, I'm not a hoarder, but a little clutter; a few toys in the corner, recipes strewn about, coffee cup on the desk... feels better than sterility... and to me it says, 'people live and love here'.

    1. I agree Rian.
      I never really rented a self-storage space. It was just my imagination getting the best of me!
      I'll always have something out of place. I guess it's part of being human. It's not healthy to become an obsessive/compulsive person.


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