Clutter’s cluttering thoughts, too

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel like I just can’t get ahead.

The laundry’s piling up, the dishwasher is full, and we won’t even talk about how badly the grass needs to be cut.

At work, it seems the same thing holds true. There are piles everywhere – on my desk, in my inbox and even in the desk drawers. It seems like the clutter has even made its way into my car with coloring books and Easter eggs left over from the church egg hunt.

It’s exasperating and stressful.

I need to de-clutter my life.

Research shows it only takes five minutes to make a world of difference in one’s life. If, every day, you use those five minutes to do simple tasks, the world should cosmically align and a feeling of peace will infuse itself into your core.

I’ve tried giving it five minutes, but by the time I sit still for that long, I don’t have the energy to go any further.

Research also shows that paperwork often accounts of a lot of the clutter, both at home and at work. I would agree with that. I’ve often said a tidy workspace makes for a more productive day; however, that philosophy doesn’t translate to my home office or my kitchen counter.

We all know it’s much easier to put it in a pile and deal with it when we have that extra five minutes, but the experts suggest designating a specific spot for incoming paperwork. And they mean everything from mail to flyers about the upcoming school bake sale should go in the in-box and warranties on the new flat screen you just bought.

Another tip I got was to clear one area in your home and designate it as your no clutter zone. Put nothing in that space. Once it’s clean, it’s clean. Nothing passes the invisible “no trespassing” signs. Then, every day, expand that no clutter zone.

There was no luck for me on that one either.

But, perhaps the biggest tip came from my mother. It was to teach one’s children to pick up after themselves.

I have failed miserably at this.

I have to constantly stay behind my kids. So much in fact, the sound of “Pick up your shoes,” and “Did you get this from here? No? Put it back,” continuously fills the house.

And nothing gets me going more than working to clean up the million or so toys in the girls’ room than to go back five minutes later and find them scattered to the four corners of the room. Same principle applies to the living room, kitchen and front porch.

All of these things that I should be doing sound great in theory, and should be put into application, but to make that happen, I now realize that I have to go buy a box to hold my mail and that will eliminate my five minutes, and now we can’t leave because my kids can’t find their shoes.

I know now why I can’t get a head – it’s called, “life.”

You live it; you learn from it, and you love it.

Besides, it’s just clutter. Your kids can keep it and begin their own clutter process or give it away to the Goodwill after you’re gone.