Clutter. A Welcome Friend, or a Lazy Foe?

We are already mid-way through the month, having left behind celebrations, fireworks, and a stressful year. Some of us may have written a long list of new year resolutions that we know we should be focussing on. January is the month where we re-organise our lives and focus on a new project to better ourselves.

I decided not to make any resolutions for 2021 because I still have some unfinished plans from last year. Plans, that I have put on the back burner with the excuse that I would deal with them as soon as the pandemic is over. But days are going by fast, the world is no better, and I am letting them slip. Have I been too ambitious and unable to reach my goals?

I thought I could manage through the goals, but I must admit that my mind and my home are starting to feel cluttered. I could blame it on the ongoing national lockdown. It is so easy to be tempted by what is available online. I am undecided. Should I ditch my old plans and start a brand-new list or work through the old ones? I must find a way to re-organise my brain before it bursts.

“Edit your life frequently, and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W Morris

Not everyone keeps their stuff tidy and organised. Some people keep their homes clean while their cars are messy. Others focus on tidiness but do not care if inches of dust pile up on the surface. My life is organised in an arty type mess which other people call ‘clutter’. I know exactly where all my things are situated should I need them. I agree with Albert Einstein: If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Different people find comfort in different levels of organisation. A person’s clutter might be someone else’s treasure. It all depends what suits them best. I read somewhere that clutter is nothing more than postponing decisions – in other words, clutter is procrastination. It can cause stress which leads to physical and mental illness. It might also make it hard for us to focus and concentrate, impossible to relax and enjoy life.

I do not believe that I am a procrastinator, but I am aware that I have made many plans which are slow for me to achieve. I have let my mind run wild giving too much attention to the least important ones. I do not possess superpowers and more often than not, I feel snowed under. But it is not too late to rectify this. I can change course.

“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” – Louise Smith

There are 11 more months before the end of the year. I have plenty of time to get back on track and achieve my goals. First, I need to have a vision – draw up a plan that is achievable. I need to re-evaluate the targets I have set and get rid of anything that does not serve me, otherwise I will never get organised.

I need different tools to achieve this. Decluttering my home will not be the same as decluttering my mind. Getting rid of material things is easier than emotional baggage accumulated over the years. Throwing away an out-of-fashion dress is less painful than a broken piece of jewellery given by an old flame. Taking on too many responsibilities at work and feeling guilty towards my family can clutter my mind and spirit.

But I will not wait for next year to start a new list of resolutions. Neither will I put my life on hold until I get organised. By prioritising what I need instead of what I want, I can come up with a plan and re-structure my life with a new resolution. There are two main questions that I should keep asking myself to push forward: Can I achieve the goals I set and what steps should I take?

Decluttering old habits as well as material things will be another way to forgive myself for my laziness and regain healthy ethics. It will be hard to let go but by doing so I can release the old and make way to a new ‘me’.

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