February 9, 2009

How Cluttered Are We?

This one is something we don't pay attention to in our daily lives in spite of knowing that it is all around us. Clutter. And the consequences are more dire than we can ever imagine. I just googled the word Clutter, and got these results on Wikipedia:


Clutter may refer to any of the following:

* Excessive physical disorder:
o Clutter (organizing): A confusing or disorderly state or collection; or the creation thereof. Excessive, unnecessary or uncontrolled clutter can be a symptom of compulsive hoarding.
o A type of light pollution
o Clutter (radar): Unwanted echoes in electronic systems.
o Clutter (marketing): The extreme amount of advertisements or products the average consumer comes into contact with.

* Speech
o Cluttering
o Cluttered speech, when speech becomes broken or sounds nervous


I was looking for a single meaning, but this was just the perfect thing. It shows us how clutter is a problem in every aspect of life. By clutter, I mean mess. We might be the obsessive and compulsive kind of people outside, but are we really that clean on the inside? I was watching this episode about Clutter on the Oprah Winfrey show a few weeks ago. And I was startled to realize a few things. Since then I have wanted to write something on this topic. Well on the show, they telecasted the story of 2 American families which were suffering from this clutter phenomenon, and they had no idea how it was affecting their lives. There was a home organization expert Peter Walsh, who helped these families de-clutter themselves. And the changes were phenomenal! Let me elaborate on one of these families. They were a family of 5, a young couple and their 3 daughters who were 8,6 and 3 years respectively. Now this man of the family is a teacher in a school, and the woman, well she works at a cleaning store! I was so shocked to see their house, you enter inside and there is mess all over! The toys for kids, they have a million clothes, there is no room to walk, and even the parents bedroom is loaded with so much stuff that it affects their relationship in an adverse way more than a good way. That is when emotional clutter starts to creep in.

For a man who is a teacher, and a woman who is working at a cleaning store, it is surely very emotionally disturbing to see their house like this. They say that there is no time to clean so much of mess... They had not spent a private moment in the past 2 years they said. And while giving out this interview the woman started crying as she realzed that this clutter was affecting not only her house but the whole family's life! Anyway they spent a good 10 days de-cluttering the place and 75% of the stuff, which included a lot of new and unused stuff, was gotten rid of. It was not needed at all in the first place. Nowadays we have such mentality where we think that we need to buy things to keep us happy. And that is exactly what this family had been doing. During these 10 days, Peter Walsh tried to talk to the couple and the kids and tried to de-clutter their minds as well. He explained to them that it was important for the whole family to sit down and have meals together, and he had to explain this to the girls that drawing on walls was not exactly the best thing to do. He told the couple that they must give each other private time in spite of how busy their routine is. Once a week atleast. After their house was de-cluttered, and so were their minds, this family walked into a new, clean home and a fresh mindset. And I pray that they live happily ever after.

I know that we might not be cluttered to this extent as mentioned above. But somewhere or the other, we are cluttered. We might be clean enough to find things in our house or room, but we might also have a huge pile of stuff which we do have in our closets which we probably never use, or will not use it ever. We just like to keep it. That is the clutter I'm refering to.

I hope I am successful in conveying this message to all my readers, and more than that, to myself. We really need to de-clutter our lives. Get rid of that jeans which you love to wear for the past 10 years and it does not fit you anymore but you would like to keep it anyway. Get rid of all the old pictures of your ex lovers and hence the memories associated with them. If you have a closet full of clothes, then you should control your shopping, not just overload your closet with stuff you might probably never wear. If our surroundings are de-cluttered, they would keep our minds de-cluttered as well! Tell that girl you love her for once, instead of piling it up in your mind for years together. It will feel much better when you finish things on time. It would be much easier for us to find important papers if we kept your room and office organized. Last but not the least, I have been having my meals with my Dad on the dinner table these days, and really, it makes you grow closer to each other!

Counter Posted from Memoirs


  1. thnaks a tom for posting this ... we do need to adress this .. and before you de clutter your life, spend a moment alone to decide what you reall need and want ... to tell u a secret, m already on a de cluttering spree .. going slow but steady !! thanks for motivating me a bit more :)

  2. wow u again motivated me....i hope my decluttering proves fruitful this time...
    nevertheless ur writing n issues rocks :-)

  3. i am gonna start to de-clutter.. thank you for giving me the much needed initiation :)

  4. Thank You Nan, Nabs and Kaajal [?] I would be very very happy if I make even 0.1% of difference!

  5. hey y that question mark with "kajal"

  6. nicely written and frank... meaningfull indeed!!!

  7. You know I love the posts that are coming up.Great going girl.. Now for my 2 cents on this..

    Have you realised how much Indian culture promotes atleast physical clutter? The entire idea of cleaning the entire house during Diwali, getting rid of old grudges on Sankrati. etc...

    But do we see it like that?

    Clutter in our minds is the worse kind. I, as a psychology student have began to see this clutter among my friends and I try to correct them. No, I'm not completely debugged but when we realise how it is affecting us, we become a little more tolerant.

    We need to get rid of dysfunctionality, in simpler terms. If it isnt useful, it has no place in your life..

  8. I can understand what u meant and how it affects....
    Thank u so much for sharing this... :)

    At my place, we still have dinner together .. The days that we dont, it seems so dull and flat....

    Thanks for posting this, once again.. :)


  9. ashrita...the first thing i did after readign this post was to de-clutter the screen of my desktop...had been postponing it for quite some time

  10. @ Kajal... I was not sure that was your name but now I am :)

    Kings, Thanks for liking it!

    R.V. Yes I agree with the point you put up.

    Arjun... Thank you :)

    Sandeep... I am glad I made some difference!

  11. very cluttering!

    I am an organized mess. So i dono how to de-clutter it.

    secondly i would like you to see this: http://charcoals.blogspot.com/2008/07/materialism.html

    not very related, but somewhat - yes!


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