The 411 in disarray


We all have it. It is not like this?

We can’t seem to get away from it.

It affects different aspects of our lives. Right?

For some of us, disorder rules our world more than others.

Once clutter starts to pile up, it seems hard to break down the ever-growing piles and piles and piles of things in our living rooms, bedrooms, garages, basements, and office spaces.

However exactly is it clutter?

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers definitions of disorder when used as a noun or a verb.

When used as a noun, clutter is defined as “a crowded or confused mass or collection.”

When used as a verb, disorder is defined as “filling or covering with scattered or cluttered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.”

Both definitions allow us to know that disorder, a scattered or disorderly collection of things, lacks order and reduces our effectiveness.

Two good insights on what clutter is, don’t you agree?

Here’s another to consider.

Nanci McGraw, author of Organized for success! 95 tips to take control of your time, space and life He says, “At the center of all the clutter are things: trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, etc. that are no longer needed or are needed but are disorganized.”

When I think of the clutter I see in my home and office space, I must admit that my clutter fits these descriptions.

How about your mess?

Have you noticed that it consists of trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, or things you want to keep but you need to find a more organized system to store it?

Or have you discovered that your clutter consists of trinkets, paper, souvenirs, books, household items, or things that you no longer need but must find time to throw away?

I’m with you. I realized that my mess must be both: better organized or finally discarded.

However, isn’t it hard to get rid of the things you think you need or want?

These trinkets were obtained as a gift; papers from the children’s art collection; vacation memories; books intended to be read; household items needed for later; or anything you want to hold onto because you may need it, they are hard to throw away!

You do not agree?

Perhaps the best thing you can do is find a better way to organize your clutter. Get new containers. Find an extra drawer. Add a new shelf.

Should that get it right?


If the goal is to tidy up the clutter, the clutter will simply remain. Sure, it would be better organized, but it would still exist in our space, possibly impeding our effectiveness.

Here’s our challenge, now that we know exactly what is clutter, we must find a way to use this information to order our lives.

I know how I will use it, and you?

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