have you noticed… we’re drowning in clutter?


A Perfect MessYou may have seen the piece in the Herald Sun’s Sunday magazine commenting on the book “A Perfect Mess: the Hidden Benefits of Disorder” by Eric Abrahamson and David H Freedman.

The book states: “When we are being ruthless about ridding ourselves of what naturally accumulates around us and about meticulously straightening out what remains, we are in a sense tidying our identities. The truth is, we are all at least a bit of a mess — and all the more interesting for it.”

The same issue of Sunday Magazine also ran a feature on the “perfection bug” with a defining list that included
“do you consider people who don’t label the outside of their drawers slobs?” and
“do you consider one thing lying on a table clutter?*”

What do you reckon? Does meticulous and tidy result in zero personality? Or does messy and manic cloud personality and only add to the confusion, masking the personality? Or is it possible to be a bit of both and keep the balance?

(*for the record, one thing lying on a table is not clutter. The definition of clutter is anything you don’t love, don’t use or don’t need.)

9 responses to “have you noticed… we’re drowning in clutter?

  1. I think how tidy or not you are reflects your personality. To my taste I like it a little bit to the tidy side but please we don’t have to be order freaks.

  2. No Lissanne! Having a neat and tidy space where you can actually FIND things, makes one cheery, optimistic, light-hearted, fun, and most of all SANE!!! When my environment is organised I am soooooooo happy and serene – I love it – I love me, and so do my family!

  3. Yes! Yes! it is true. The indecisiveness of having clutter leaves one in limbo. And the longer you leave clutter the harder it is to get around to it all. I still have hope though, I just need support to chip away at what I don’t need. There is always that excuse that hovers that “one day this might come in handy” and to back this up I might re enforce the thought by “reuse & recycle.” It’s part of the wish that things might last forever, but then again, in this material world, I don’t think there is anything I want to take with me.

  4. Hi Lisanne – I think it’s more a question of stress. It’s stressful being disorganised. One has a sense of who one is from knowing where things are, from not being anxious about having lost things, about having momentos and photos accessible, etc. I don’t want to sound as if I’ve got it beat, but I have enjoyed your blog and your newsletter, thank you.

  5. Jane, I totally agree, it’s stressy when out ‘stuff’ management and time management isn’t quite right….. frustrating too! Glad you enjoy newsletter and blog – thank you!

  6. Hi Lisanne,
    I began decluttering and getting a handle on the stuff about three years ago. I’ve never felt more clear-headed in my life. And I don’t feel ‘owned’ by my possessions or my desire for ‘things’ anymore, so the real personality can just be free to emerge. I even decluttered my hair – went short, and even that feels like a release from conformity.
    Thanks for your newsletter.

  7. HI Lisanne,
    it’s your old neighbour alice here. I have just moved into mum and dad’s old house in Coromandel Valley and am struggling with clutter, especially paperwork. Got any tips? Actually I don’t think it’s just because of the move, I think I’ve always been messy…got any day to day things i can do to help me stay on top of things with the 5 kids?

  8. Hey Alice! I have a heap of ideas for you – all for $25 including postage! go to: http://shop.sorted.net.au My book, SORTED! the ultimate guide to organising your life – once and for all, features a massive section on paper management and also dealing with kids stuff. The book is like a receipe book, so shows you step by step what to do and what you’ll need. There are over 52 recipes (work/home/paper/life) and had 258 tips to help keep you on the straight and narrow. For a start, I would be teaching those kids, “don’t put it down, put it away”! Kids can help with picking up and putting away from the moment they can walk!

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