Clutter Monster Diaries, Part 1

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? ― Albert Einstein

A Hoarder’s Lament
I have experienced a momentary and curious flash of fear, at the prospect of clearing away a substantial portion of the clutter that has surrounded me for years. I suppose I’ve held a sort of bizarre fondness for these, my mute inanimate co-habitors: the stacks and piles and collections I’ve spent so much time carefully amassing. They have been a very greedy lot, ruthlessly stealing my time and energy, mocking my every effort to appease them. But alas, this gathering of “friends” must needs be broken up, and thrown into the inexorable winds of change and progress. Adieu, mes amies!

Phew! Now that I’ve gotten that fond farewell out of my system (I hope), I can get down to the business of ruthlessly cutting my grotesque “Clutter Monster” down to size. I will confess to two counts of cheating, though, in this battle with my formidable foe. 1.) My grown daughter is doing most of the de-cluttering. 2.) Very little is being thrown away at this point.

We had tried previous attempts, once or twice, but the sheer terror at the prospect of losing something “important” in her sweeping assaults on the clutter, and the actual inconvenience when something relatively important turned up “missing and presumed dead” (aka: discarded), proved to be too traumatizing for me and too frustrating for her. Hence, the new strategy. Piles and collections are simply being transported, relatively intact, into the spare room to be dealt with later.

This streamlined strategy accomplishes two purposes. First, it immediately frees up the living spaces in the rest of the house to serve their true function: providing s-p-a-c-e to live in! How efficient! The second benefit is that I can now keep up with regular vacuuming and dusting of the newly-exposed surfaces.

The really exciting benefit for me, though, is that I feel free and uncluttered on the inside. So now, when I want to sketch or paint, or even just sit down to read a book, I don’t feel the crush of my surroundings pressing me down. As more and more areas are being released from the fierce grip of that insidious “Clutter Monster,” I find that the creative ideas in my head are multiplying and bursting forth, as though being released from the dark oppressiveness of some prison cell. The horrific and shame-inducing “Clutter Monster” is being slain, and I am being set free!

Here are some “before” and “after” photos of the progress against “Clutter Monster.”20140521-072931-26971746.jpg

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As progress continues, I’ll post additional photos. Check back to share my progress and, hopefully, be inspired to confront your own “Clutter Monster”!

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