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Let Go of Clutter
by Harriet Schechter
Hardcover 288 pages (1 December, 2000)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education;
ISBN: 0071351221

Bon Journal

Drowning in clutter - part 4

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year of the Horse.

Traditionally, we would not do anything on this day which we won't want to do for the rest of the year. So today is not a day for arguing, cleaning, or clearing clutter. Instead, I'll just ponder on the subject, as a resolve to change my acquisition behaviour this year and to speed up the "what to do about clutter" decision-making process.

The Chinese New Year is usually my second deadline for getting things done, the first being the Western New Year. I give myself milestones for "getting things done," which incidentally is the title of the next book I need to read.

I'm no longer drowning in clutter, but swimming in it. At least I'm staying afloat, having seen what damage it does to my brain. Mental overload causes me to forget cues and hence train of thought and names of people. Having understood the cause of my clutter, I am more relaxed about the next steps.

As one of my avid readers pointed out, there is also such thing as emotional clutter. Ha! This was not mentioned in Ms Schechter's book!

Baggage. Things we should have said to those we've wronged. And vice versa. Such clutter resurface in dreams (or nightmares). My neighbour tells me that people get recycled. For example, your ex-boyfriend appears as a client. Your ex-housemate joins your best friend's company. Your ex-colleague asks you for a date. If you don't close the past, they come back again at some point in your life to haunt you. Yes, I have written about closures and even a song called "Skeletons in the Closet."

For most of us, we were either too naive, too wronged, too unforgiving, or just too stupid to close those relationships when we should have and in the way they should have been closed. Instead of seeking them out, as easily as Web search engines facilitate these days, perhaps writing letters without actually sending them should do the trick.

Clutter of the emotional kind is probably what explains the reluctance of older, single people from rushing into commitment or signing on the dotted line. This is probably the hardest clutter to get rid of, for letting go is even harder than breaking up!

12 February 2002 Tuesday

Clutter in December 2000