Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.
Like many “simpliﬁers” I live with a “clutter-er.” Alas, yes that is my lot in life. My ﬁrst thought is, “Is there any reason to keep this?” and his is, “Is there any reason I should throw this away?” So, I guess you would call us a mixed marriage.
The clutter from him was starting to get to me so I devised a plan. I got a box and dated the front. Every time his stuff is lying around for a few days, it goes in the box. If he’s looking for it, it’s there and if he’s not… it’s also there. His home ofﬁce is over our garage so now his clutter is not all over the den and kitchen but in a box ready for him when he wants it (or not), and I’m happy because I don’t have to look at it for days on end. Perhaps one day he will realize he needs to purge or actually throw some paperwork away, but until then we’re happy and can still live in the same house without strife.
I’ve applied a similar principle for the “teenage wasteland” that accumulates in the main part of the house. They get a basket. When I can’t stand seeing their stuff lying around cluttering up the area, it goes in the basket. When it’s full it goes up to their room, and we start over again. I don’t have to nag; I get a serene looking environment (most of the time), and they get to be a teenagers and not always take their stuff directly to their rooms. Of course both of these come with the reminder that before I can get mad or frustrated with them, I also need to take a quick glance around the house for the stuff that’s out that’s mine! It keeps me humble because I always ﬁnd something.
Thanks to Amy for sharing her story!