clutter is how far away you are from your present self

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What is clutter? Webster defines clutter as a collection of things lying about in an untidy mess. But what about the things themselves? Clutter neatly arranged is still clutter, isn’t it? In learning more about minimalism, I’ve begun to learn to recognize clutter in new ways. This is the first step in removing it and preventing it from re-entering our lives.

So what is clutter? And how does it enter our lives?

Clutter reflects how far away you are from your present self.

It happens in 3 ways:

1. Clutter happens when we can’t let go of the past. When we are attached to excess mementos and obsolete things.

2. Clutter happens when we are prioritizing the future over the present. Hoarding supplies and buying in bulk, prioritizing financial savings over real estate that is probably more valuable.

3. Clutter happens when we are trying to be someone other than ourselves. Like that sienna colored blazer I never wore. Honestly I bought it because I thought it looked cute on a girl I admired at work.  Doesn’t matter how beautiful the object, if it is not you, it becomes clutter.

I’m still working on changing my habits and I still have a lot to learn. It is pretty cool to find that when I learn more about what defines clutter, I also learn about what defines me, and this information makes life a little bit easier.

[image credit: rikumo]

3 Comments

  1. Wow, I always struggle with de-cluttering and but I never thought about the “prioritizing the future over the present” part. So true.

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    1. Thank you! I really like your posts as well. I follow a lot of minimalist bloggers, like zen habits, a journal, age of minimalism (see my blogroll above). Theres a ton of great writing out there .. it helps to keep reading about it too.

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