Clutter is something that Americans know very well, and try to fight with more or less success. The dictionary defines clutter as “a number of things scattered in disorder; jumble.” For example, in my closet, besides clothes, I see shoes piled on top of other shoes, an electric fan, pillows, blankets, books, notebooks, plastic bags, empty shoeboxes, suitcases, photo albums, clown shoes, hats and music books. It makes me feel tired just to look at it all! Much of our clutter problems come from collecting junk.
Is clutter a problem for you in your home, office or life in general? What are some of the common ways that junk comes into your home, office or life?
Look at the questions below. If you answer “yes” to some – tell whether or not you think that this area is a clutter problem for you. Do your conversation partners agree with you? Get their advice.
Do you keep out-of-date magazines? For how long?
Do you have clothes in several different sizes?
Do you have photographs that you don’t look at because they’re stored and hard to find?
Do you keep broken things in hopes of fixing them some day? Do you ever fix them?
Do you have file cabinets full of files that you never look at, or with old bills and bank statements that are more than 7 years old?
Do you have medicine, cosmetics, after-shave or toiletries that you never use?
If clutter or “junk” in your life is not an issue, please explain how you keep clutter and junk away (and write a book for Americans to read). How do you handle junk mail?
How do you deal with gifts – especially a gift that is not useful to you? Do you feel you must keep it, display it, wear it, even if you don’t enjoy it? Have you ever gotten rid of a gift from your mother, your best friend, your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend or some significant person? What is most important about a gift – the item itself or the feeling behind it? Explain. If you give a gift to someone, how would you feel if they gave it away, threw it away or sold it? Give examples!
How do you deal with mental clutter – news, books, movies, TV, radio, even people who want to talk to you – so that you have time to just think and discover who you are? Do you have to fight mental clutter?
How do you deal with food clutter – the potato chips at the party, the donuts at the office or cookies at school? Do you eat more than you like, or eat things that you consider junk for your body? How can you keep the food clutter under control?
“Anyone who loves money never has enough. Anyone who loves wealth is never satisfied with what he gets. That doesn’t have any meaning either. . . . The sleep of a worker is sweet. It doesn’t matter whether he eats a little or a lot. But the wealth of a rich man keeps him awake at night. *****Do you agree with these words of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes 5:10-12?