I did a little de-cluttering today. I prefer to call it de-klugeing, but I have no idea how you really spell that word, and no patience to figure out iGoogle spell checker on my snail’s pace internet connection. Whatever you call it, I have been mired in a decades long battle against my pack-rat gene, and I am just now beginning to see the tide turn.
What has made a big difference is realizing how much clutter is related to decisions. You often accumulate clutter when you are unable to make decisions about things, or when you decide that you need things when you really don’t. Or, when you made a wrong decision to buy something, and you try to avoid being wasteful by hanging on to the item.
I tend to fall prey to the first one. I can’t decide whether these clothes are clean enough to hang back up, or should go in the hamper. So they go on a chair instead. I can’t figure out where to put all my tax documents, so they stay in shoe boxes under my desk. You wouldn’t believe the internal drama I’ve been dealing with all because the “Stop Cancer” society sends me some return address labels. I don’t have money to send them right now, but Ooooooooh, how I would Looooooove to have some return address labels! They have my name on them and everything! But I feel really bad keeping them without sending a donation in return. But I also feel really bad throwing away perfectly good return address labels. It’s wasteful! I couldn’t decide what was the “right” thing to do in this case. So what do I do? I let them sit in a pile of other random mail and paperwork for over 6 months until some future date when I might be able to choose correctly. Instead of cluttering up a landfill, they clutter up my personal space. In this situation, I really need to re-evaluate what it means to do the “right” thing.
My other main issues are confusing my fondness for a person with a need to hang on to whatever card, or clothing item, or gift they have given me. And, clinging to documents and objects that I don’t use because I might want to someday. Or, as with the return labels – objects that I don’t want to waste. It can drive me nuts sometimes.
I ordered some beauty products from a company online the other day, and they are one of those companies that likes to send you free gifts all the time to encourage your repeat business. Only problem is, much like their products – the gifts are really hit or miss. For buying 2 sticks of deodorant, I was rewarded with a lovely pink scarf, a full-sized bottle of facial cleanser that makes my skin feel silky smooth, and then a small body spray that smells like death. Tropical death, no less. It’s hideous. But the worst part for me is that my affliction will not allow me to simply chuck it in the trash. No, this is an item that has some usefulness. I cannot bear for it to go to some already over crowded landfill. I have literally been envisioning what it would look like as it took up space in a landfill surrounded by cups and trash bags and banana peels and so forth. It’s unacceptable. I thought I’d be clever and take the top off, pour it out, and then recycle the bottle. Ha! But alas, the spray thingy is melded on. I can’t get it off unless I pry the thing off and pretty much stain my skin with the scent of tropical body rot in the process.
Then I thought about giving it away, but that would mean I’d have to know or associate with the person who takes it. And if they like it enough to take it, they could wear it, and since I know them, they might wear it around me, and I would have to smell it! Back to square one! I can’t take that chance. Plus, if someone I knew liked this smell, I might not be able to like them anymore. I would really have to question whether they were someone I could relate to and continue to respect.