The corollary to the Chaos Muppet Paradox, of course, is that whereas messes beget messes, order is very, very difficult to maintain.
Fie on thee, entropy!
Having recently come to see my own spirited nature, I’ve decided that it’s time to deal with this problem.
For years now, I’ve been sometimes tending, sometimes ignoring (aka, tripping over), and sometimes (that is, nearly always) fretting about various little messes in our home. Some of the little messes used to be big messes. For example, that box of I’m-not-sure-what in the corner of the bedroom was once upon a time a big pile of boxes and bags of I’m-not-sure-what. We’ve since thrown away, given away, sold, or found a better place for most of such things that once cluttered our home. But plenty of it remains.
I don’t want to waste any more of my energy fretting about this stuff. Therefore, in lieu of making my usual monthly small changes for the environment, this fall I’ll be making one big change: taking care of the clutter.
How Does This Work Help the Environment?
You may wonder how this work constitutes a change for the environment.
I believe, actually, that this work addresses a fundamental problem. Much of the trouble in our environment is a consequence of our carelessness about the material world. Thus, I want to take up the practice of taking care of the environment with which I am most intimate, my home.
After all, if the world is our body, then this home is the body of my family. Our tools, our toys, and much of the food we eat and air we breathe is here. We should not treat the stuff of this home like junk. In every sense of the word, it matters.
What Work Needs to Be Done?
I’ve found that listing everything that needs to be done overwhelms me — and isn’t even necessary. I tend to know the few things that need to be done next. As long as I’m focusing on those, I tend to get things done.
It does help, however, to think of the work in terms of categories, or areas that especially need care. Those areas are as follows:
- Our closets
- Our files and finances
- The open shelving in the living room
- The boys’ room, where we’ll be adding a second bed
- My work space
I also want to get more of our art and photographs out of the closets and on to the walls. And, to keep the inevitable daily messes from reproducing, I’m also going to be working on establishing the habit of cleaning up as I go through the day (which, I’ve noticed, is how my very neat sister keeps things tidy in her home).
There’s a lot to do. I’ll certainly be posting about our progress!
How do you manage clutter in your home?