Who Gets to Decide What Clutter Is?

What’s your organizing goal this? Is it to stand ready to be photographed for the cover of a magazine? Perhaps it’s to have all 965 pieces of lego sorted by shape, color and size at the end of each day. Is it to be company-ready at the ring of your doorbell?

Goals like these have me heading for the hills, and I do this for a living. I know that people have different comfort levels for how much stuff they like to have around them and all I ask is that you consider whether you’re using or enjoying the things around you. There’s a world of difference between an attic filled with bags of stuffed toys that haven’t seen the light of day for decades and a creative display like the one I once found in a Louisville front yard.

stuffed toys diorama

Someone with quite a collection of stuffed animals decided to make dioramas to illustrate a favorite children’s book. They have a copy of the book out there and even a basket with flashlights in case you happen to come by when it’s dark and want to see better.

Bags of toys in the attic are clutter. A whimsical garden display created using those very same toys is joyful and creative.

Ask yourself whether your clutter can be transformed into something that brings you active joy? And if it can’t, can you release it so someone else can enjoy it?

What say you?