The Year of Clear

In a fit of holiday-induced poor judgment, I proclaimed 2018 “The Year of Clear.”

I meant this naming to be an irresistibly motivating declaration of my intention with regard to my years-long post-retirement ordering and filing project.

“The Year of Clear.” I meant it for ACTION. I meant for the declaring to lead directly to actual sorting, actual deciding, actual pitching, and ACTUAL FILING.

Three weeks in, and I’m not going to say that “The Year of Clear” is a total failure. I have made some tiny steps of progress in eliminating home office litter and making files. But I find, I confess, the PRACTICE of the year of clear much less compelling than the PLANNING of the year of clear. It’s hard for me to sustain interest in and energy for the project for more than, say, ninety minutes in a twenty-four hour period.

“The Year of Clear” is in danger of renaming as “The Year of Things, Clutter Wise, Pretty Much Going Along as They Have Been Going.”

Am I learning some things? Sure.

1. I notice how my continuing to carry items into my space contributes to my clutter problem. Some of the items are needed (groceries and sundries); others (clothing, kitchen equipment and utensils, candles, jewelry) are not.

2. I notice the familiarization of clutter. In a very short time, what I call clutter ceases to be different from its (presumably orderly) surroundings and becomes as ordinary as if it had always been there. The passage of time makes clutter harder and harder to distinguish from its background.

3. Three or four short, fierce, merciless decluttering sessions per week are better than nothing. Or two. Or one. It’s early yet in “The Year of Clear,” and I hope and believe my efforts will show motivating results as days, weeks, and months tick by.

How goes it with you and YOUR clutter? As ever, I’m eager to talk with you MLBs (persons who identify as Mid-Life and Beyond) or anybody else seeking the ministry of serene and orderly living space.

Rev. Dr. Martha Robertson