Friday, 9 January 2009

Cleanse that clutter

I've always been a "thrower-outer"; I'd rather live in a mostly empty room (bed, fridge, couch) than a rabbit-warren cluttered with furniture and ornaments. I'm not that sentimental about possessions or clothing either - no matter who gave it to me; if I haven't used it or worn it in a year, it goes bye-bye.

Sure, there are a few exceptions, like my books. And also had some other odds that lived in a drawer and were kept because they couldn't really be gotten rid of (where? to whom?). Well, most were stolen (very little financial value) when my home was broken into in November - and I didn't completely mind because they were unnecessary luggage that I should have / could have passed on years ago. The thieves cleansed clutter I didn't need.

The theft aside, I've always enjoyed a good environment cleanse; the satisfaction of getting rid of stuff I don't need is energising. I remember doing major clean-outs before starting to study for exams and these days I can't resist the urge to declutter before writing major articles or any other thought-consuming tasks.

I was recently introduced to Tim Ferriss' blog - And through Tim's blog I've just discovered Leo Babauta (; "The Power of Less"; he went from 1 reader to being one of the Technorati Top-100 blogs in the world in less than 12 months) and Merlin Mann (; "Inbox Zero" concept).

Leo is fabulous and a number of the entries in his posting summaring The Essential Zen Habits of 2008 are inspiring. There's no esoteric weirdness; just common sense.

The remaining months of last year were tough for me; I reached my limit where I was juggling too much stuff - and it broke me. Learning from this, I've been cleansing committments and responsibilities to whittle my activities and surroundings down to things I want and need to do. Work in progress.

Leo has some great comments on The Four Laws of Simplicity and How to Apply Them to Life and 21 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life. In dealing with physical things in your home, read Zen mind: How to declutter for inspiration.

Life is simple; we clutter it with unnecessaries. You're guaranteed to find at least two points in there that you should be implementing.

My key word for this month is "Simplify"; and it should establish a good base for the rest of the year.


Anonymous said...

Minimalism is sooo boring, how devoid of interest. nothing better than a cluttered room of books, art, and musical instruments where you can plonk onto a bean bag, read a book, bang a drum, paint and smoke a hubbly bubbly :)

I dislike those positive thinking self help people, right up there with cosmo mag. We're being brain washed into a homogenous ideal citizen.

adventurelisa said...

Pablo, you're not far wrong. I think it is a bit of "each to their own". There's the minimalist look that is really cold and clinical and unrealistic; that's not my cuppa tea either.

Then there's the room of books and things that you use and enjoy. The room may be full of stuff, but it is stuff that you use. A cupboard of things shoved into nooks and crannies that haven't been touched in 10-years... I'm all for trashing that stuff.

I think that's the difference between minimal and simple? Use it or lose is my style.

Anonymous said...

I do concede that a little brown mouse has moved into my cluttered room and it has loads of hiding places, it would require some effort to flush he/she out. I've call her Russel because of the ruslting sounds I hear in the evenings.

She must be very learned and is not deterred with my feeble musical musings ... hey, there's a name for my blogg, Rustle's Musings ...

She's so cute and shy, inspired me to play Jethro Tull's One Brown Mouse on my guitar

adventurelisa said...

hahaha. I think she's a "Pablo groupie" and the hiding places afford her the perfect vantage point to watch as you strum tunes on your guitar. So, on behalf of Rustle, don't clean out that clutter ;)