Creating a Clutter Free Life

Creating a Clutter Free Life

I have to confess we are a bit messy in this house. Well not even a bit. Really messy. We seem to have taken mess to a new extreme and its beginning to drive me a bit crazy. I’m fairly certain that the problem stems from us all being rather untidy. Having lived with clean freaks in the past, I think not only do I make more effort to tidy up, they probably clean up around me. But having three of you in a house, who not only make the place look like a tip, but also have no problem with everyone else’s mess, it was only a matter of time before we tipped over the edge.

So its out there. We are a messy family. I’m wondering if admitting it is part of the solution, and slowly I can retrain my brain to become a nurturer of neat?

I wonder if there is a messy gene? Is it a nature versus nurture debate? Could it be true what Einstein said?

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

  • Albert Einstein

I’ve been telling myself that we are messy because of our busy brains for years, but all of a sudden its not cutting it anymore. In fact I have a whole list of reasons that I tell myself and others:

  • We’re eclectic and creative. Tidying up would stifle this.
  • Our brains are too full of ideas to worry about tidying up.
  • All the great thinkers throughout history were probably messy.
  • Untidyness is a sign of intelligence.
  • Tidying up is for grown ups.
  • How will I ever find anything if I tidy it all away?

I have even thought about pretending that I am embracing “strewing” as part of our home education philosophy, but that’s just a bit of a lie. So where does all this mess come from? We just seem to have too much stuff. All of us. And we are all absolutely hopeless at parting with any of it. Yesterday we were discussing how we might redo our kitchen in the near future, and it left B in tears. He finds change a challenge, but even highlighting to him that a new oven would bring the return of his favourite dinner wasn’t swinging it. He is adamant things should stay as they are. In fact I’m certain we all think that we are not quite as untidy as each other. So how are we ever going to get anyway? The man and I have duplicates of DVDs, of films we will probably never watch again, but who’s copy do we give away/sell/pop on eBay? It’s a never ending cycle of toot.

I have a feeling its going to need some kind of multi step plan. We need to reduce our clutter, address the storage, and get out of some bad habits. Last night I had a count and we have 7 games of Monopoly. Yep, 7. Which would be fine if we played on a regular basis, but I couldn’t tell you the last time we played! From old X-Box and PS3 games which haven’t been played since around 2008, to wooden train track B had when he was 2 years old, our house is slowly becoming a museum.

I am going to try and lead by example and start by clearing out my own collections. From clothes that, in reality, I am never going to wear again, through to my beloved Jimmy Choo’s that live in a box under the bed, it’s time to get ruthless!

B has said that he can cope with finding 3 things a day to get rid of until we are tidier. What I didn’t realise is that he didn’t seem to mean 3 of his own things!

So at least for now we have an action plan, and we’ve made a start. We should be minimalist within a month at this rate!

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