The Self-Improvement Chronicles: When Stuff Becomes Clutter

Our task for this week was to declutter our environments. In the library, we seem to fall into two equal groups: those who collect stuff until it piles up over their heads and threatens to crash down upon them and those who keep so little stuff that if they quit the library, they could leave with only their pockets a bit stuffed.

I can deal with clutter for a while. At the moment, for example, my desk is covered with books, contracts, water bottles, and the Diet Coke that I was supposed to give up today. But it’s beginning to get to me, and, at some point in the next two days, I’ll not be able to continue until all the stuff is in its right spot.

While some work well with a cluttered space, for most of us, it is a productivity killer. If you need help decluttering your space, here are some hints from Forbes.com.

To help control clutter, I take the “one-in, one-out” approach to stuff. If I buy a book, a book must be given away. The same for clothes. However, at the moment, I am having a small dilemma: I unexpectedly bought two fall purses, and, so far, I have only given away one old one. But, in general, this process works for me.

Here are the reports for the week:

Emily: ” I decluttered about two weeks ago, but have probably recluttered since then.”

Pam:  “I got an A this week!!! Make that an A+! I have been in a whirlwind of spit and shine! Just this morning my knees got sore from standing locked in place as I gracefully separated 100 pieces of jewelry which was knotted in a clump from me whirling it into a gallon size bag a month or so back when I was trying to pack and get out the door. I have actual sets of earrings! I have strands of necklaces I’d forgotten about! I can actually coordinate my outfits! “This is ridiculous” I find myself blathering to myself. Now let’s talk about my car! My landlord asked me the other week when that fellow was gonna move out that was living in the back! Good grief. I now no longer have a tenant! I am free of debris! That shall be my new motto…Free of Debris! Not to mention, lastly, the LIBRARY is soooo organized. I am a cleaning queen..American Maid you rock!”

Jolly Librarian: This was also a good week for me. I took four bags of books to McKays for cash. I gave some old dishes and a suitcase to Goodwill. Plus, I gave away some clothes, a purse, a chair, and a framed poster. Now I just need to get  to work on my desk.

Our grades:

Emily:       C

Pam:          A+

Jolly Librarian:   A

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2 thoughts on “The Self-Improvement Chronicles: When Stuff Becomes Clutter

  1. I sure hope Emily does NOT get eaten by a bear.

    Pam was on NPR/Bluebird Cafe this weekend – yeah – go Pam.

    Imagine if day one of your job (mine) you were told to KEEP everything – in case you want to ever get a promotion or tenure… Well, ten years later, I devised a system. Keep everything in notebooks – no staples. I have a lot of them… :0)

  2. 1. Hi Patty, why would Emily get eaten by a bear?
    2. THANKS! I didn’t even realize they had taped it! 🙂 It was a fun night as I recall.
    3. thanks for reading the blog
    4. I’m heading out the door to go unclutter my office at home and kitchen table. Wish me luck!
    5. Did I ask why Emily would be eaten by a bear, pray tell?…

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