key principle of clutter creation

April 29, 2009

A key principle of clutter creation is saving things for later.  Examples:

  • Getting mail, looking at it once, then putting it on a pile of papers to deal with later.
  • Buying a book that looks interesting, even though you have no time to read it, figure you’ll read it someday soon.
  • Recording a TV show that you can’t watch right away, putting the tape with your library of things to watch later.
  • Skimming through email subjects, intending to devote time to reading them all later.  Hundreds of unread emails building up.
  • Buying a set of pots and pans for the new larger kitchen that you hope to have someday.
  • Getting new clothes that don’t fit, so you’ll have something to wear when you lose weight.

It’s good to plan for your future, but … come on!

The mail could in theory be handled right when it comes in.  Open it, pay bills, file paperwork.  But that requires the energy and mental focus to deal with it at any time, which for me is rare.  I get mail after work, burned out from the day’s effort and only have energy to look at the envelopes.  If the energy is there, the focus may not be – because of the distraction of the mess and piles of things I’m responsible for doing.


One Response to “key principle of clutter creation”

  1. Hi, good post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for writing. I will certainly be coming back to your site.

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