Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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Clutter Buster

The other night I wanted to do some work on the computer, but the kids wanted to watch Scooby Doo on NetFlix. On occasion, I’d stream a movie from NetFlix on the PC and the kids would lie on our bed and watch it. Something about watching a movie on the PC in Mom and Dad’s bed is exciting to them. So I fired it up and soon the Scooby gang was dealing with vampires in Australia. But now what was I going to do? There sure are a lot of papers on the desk.


My computer desk is pretty good sized and I have different stacks of things on the desk. This stack is burned CDs I need to go through to see what’s on them. Another stack are things I need to get to in the near future. A third stack is stuff I need to get to down the road. Add a few more stacks and you get the idea. I have a small cleared area in front of the monitor in case I need to jot something down, but otherwise my desk is covered. So while the kids watched the movie, I grabbed a stack and started going through it.


I divided things in to keep, file, and trash piles and quickly moved through the stack. The keep pile ended up being a quarter of the size it was before. I filed what needed to be filed and pitched the rest. Invigorated, I did the same with the next pile. It took probably fifteen minutes total to declutter my desk and file papers. The next time I sat down at the computer, I noticed that I actually felt more at ease. I wasn’t scrambling for space on my desk or digging through stacks of stuff to find what I wanted.


What really amazes me about this is that I did not realize I was feeling tense because of the clutter on my desk. It wasn’t until it was gone that I actually felt better. I literally felt more relaxed sitting at my desk. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this, either. Every time I remove the clutter from a desk, closet, or room I immediately feel more relaxed in the area.


So if someone told you that 15 minutes a week of simple picking up would lower your stress level and lead to you feeling more comfortable, would you do it? Of course you would. And that is all it really takes, just 10 – 15 minutes a week for an area. Once you start doing it, the time it takes would probably drop to 5 minutes a week since there would be less to pick up. The problem is that we usually wait until the room/desk/closet is falling over with junk before we actually make an effort to pick up. By that time it turns into an hour or more and is exhausting.


So when you get home today, grab a room or table. Clean up the junk on it and enjoy your new found freedom. Set up a rotation so that each day you tackle a different area. The fifteen minutes you spend there will enhance your life amazingly and you won’t trip over things in the middle of the night.