Since another New Moon is upon us, I decided the other day that it would be a good time to de-clutter my home office and make room for some new projects that I’m about to begin. This may sound simple enough, but though I’m not exactly a hoarder, I do tend to hang onto objects--letters, books, photos, papers, and bits of nostalgia like the plastic necklace I was given one year by the Queen at the Renaissance Faire. (Hey, you just never know when a plastic blue necklace bestowed by the Queen is going to come in handy!)
I will be the first to admit that I do have a bit of a clutter problem, and that I’ve never been good at letting go of material objects like stuffed animals and flip flops. I’m not sure why some people are experts at this (I have friends who regularly de-clutter and are loathe to hang on to anything that is not immediately useful), and others who, like me, are equally loath to say good-bye to a perfectly good if bent paper clip or a butterfly candle (that, in my case, can never be lit because it was once a gift I gave to my mother).
Although I’m aware that all this clutter is a) not useful b) distracting and c) possibly even somewhat harmful in terms of its impact on my productivity, I still find it difficult to tackle the project of de-cluttering head-on. Yes, a shelf here and there, a drawer now and then. But to face the overwhelming, well, let’s call it what it is—disaster-- of my workspace is quite daunting. And so…I usually simply close my eyes to my surroundings and write.
After all, writing, not de-cluttering, is my passion. But there comes a time when one must look one’s self squarely in the eye, and ask, “Does that towering pile of books that you never read really serve you well?” or “Does that collection of old diaries really have a purpose?” Or…"Why the decaying macaroni picture that your kid—now 30—made when he was three?”To welcome and make space for the new-- I’ve been told by the yogic sages as well as by others who call themselves "professional organizers"--we must let go of the old. Still, I find it a challenge to determine whether all clutter is equally useless, or whether some—like the aforementioned necklace—may one day rise from the dust and ashes to inspire a blog.