You may laugh, but my friend Julie told me about a book she’s reading with this exact title. Well, actually it’s slightly different: it’s “THIS clutter” and “MY butt”; however, I like it better when we’re talking about your butt, not mine.
Could it be true? Maybe… because, you might not be able to find your proper workout clothes or equipment easily when you need it because too much stuff is crammed into your closet; you can’t find the right food to cook, because there’s too much in the cupboard; or, more likely, there’s just so much stuff around that you get distracted from your goals and confused about your priorities.
What do you think? Even a possibility?
Anyway, as Julie and I were talking, we realized that we both had, on our own, decided that we were going to clear the clutter out of our houses this year.
Why? Turns out that both of us are motivated by the symbolic nature of our big… GIANT birthdays this year.
There’s something psychological about this birthday… it’s a milestone. There’s no denying it, as you get older, you start to reflect more upon what’s important in life and the need to make choices that you never made before because you felt like you could “always do it later”.
I don’t want to be a downer, but at this point, you start to think of people who aren’t around anymore and start to feel a little uneasy…. it could be you, or someone you love next. You enter a different “reality”, which is oddly unsettling and liberating at the same time.
Some of us have to deal with losing our parents around this time of life too. Along with the emotions, there’s often the need to figure out what to do with all of the belongings that made up their whole life and world. It’s hard.
I’m here to tell you that thoughts like this make you pretty motivated to figure out what the really important things in your life are.
So, amongst other things, I decided this was the year that I was going to clear the clutter out of my home and my life and was going to try to do the things that I felt maybe I “should” have done before… one being to try and live a more healthy, balanced life in this fast paced world we ALL live in.
My boys labeled it “The Year of Sue”, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m taking ownership of 2011.
With the cooperation of my husband and 2 sons, I’ve already hauled a serious amount of stuff to Goodwill. But I still have a lot to do. I’ve vowed that before my birthday in November, I will have finished clearing out, giving away… removing… the things that I now deem to be clutter.
When it comes to “things”, I find I’m asking myself questions like, “what real value will this add to my life?”, “where will I store it and will I use it?”
Actually, getting rid of all of this stuff has been such a huge pain in the you-know-what, that probably the BIGGEST question is, “Do I like this enough that I’ll never want to throw it away?” This question alone has kept me from purchasing all kinds of “temptations”.
OK. So I’m going to remind people about The Story of Electronics that was part of the “Uh Oh, It’s Started Already” post in November. I was the poster child for that exact video last week after cleaning out a ridiculous amount of headsets, cables, wires, cell phones, etc…. that were crammed all over this house and now fill a GIANT bag to get rid of. And what really makes me mad is that I have absolutely NO idea where they came from or what they belong to… that’s all the proof I need to prove that the “planned obsolescence” theory and practice is alive and well.
And Hey! I don’t even want to hear how many of you got an iPad last year and are getting ready to chuck it for the iPad2 that’s coming out next week! (Of course, I’m a somewhat technologically challenged person, so it’s not as important to me as to some, but still…).
So Julie, regarding the initial quesiton…
I think that yes, “clutter” makes one feel bloated, heavy, and ties us down instead of letting us live our lives to the fullest, so at least symbolically, clutter DOES make your butt look big. (Notice I said YOUR butt, not mine.).
Here’s a different video by Annie Leonard called “The Story of Stuff” that is worth taking a look at!