Thursday, February 16, 2012

RIP Clutter (sort of)

The unopened Ab Roller purchased after a late night stint with “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and a pint (ok, quart) of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey...

A stack of unlabeled VHS tapes that you intended to have transferred to DVD over a decade ago, once humans survived the turn of the millennium...

Two dozen faded, over-sized concert t-shirts that you’ll never wear, but must retain as proof that you used to be cool...

Boxes of photographs with beer-holding friends you swore you’d never forget, though their names seem to escape you...

I could go on and on, but you don’t need a reminder of the many things you trip over each time you go into the basement, or pay to store at a place that was a total bargain because the first month cost only a buck.

In our closets, our brains or our personal lives, we’ve all got clutter.  What sets us aside is how we handle it.

Two love affairs began during my most recent pedicure: one with Katy Perry’s OPI nail polish line, and the other with Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project”.

As the author brilliantly broke down categories of clutter, I broke down over the realization that I had a perfect example of each.  Am I getting rid of them? Hell no.  But I have decided to share them with you.

Here are the categories, with a bit of how Rubin describes them, then illustrated with a photo from my personal collection.

Nostalgic Clutter: “made up from relics I clung to from my earlier life”
I was in 6th grade when my Grandmother gave me this.  Legit.

Conservation Clutter: “made up of things that I’ve kept because they are useful- even though they’re useless to me”
Box 1 of a plethora

Bargain Clutter: “which results from buying unnecessary things just because they are on sale”
Gonna give credit where credit is due... I don't fall for this one.

Freebie Clutter: “gifts, hand-me-downs and giveaways”
Once I research Botox, I have a feeling these will be in greater demand 

Crutch Clutter: “things I used but I knew I shouldn’t”
I've worn this... in public.
He really did.

Aspirational Clutter: “things I owned but only aspired to use”
But if you come over, I'll totally make you a carrot juice.

Outgrown Clutter: “the flipside of aspirational clutter”

Buyer’s Remorse Clutter: “when rather than admit I’d made a bad purchase, I hung on to things until I somehow felt they’d been ‘used up’”
Someday, when I relax, I will do it in this papazan rocking chair... 

The fact that I could have thrown each of these items away in less time than it took me to take and download their photos speaks volumes as to where there fate lies…  for now.  But sometimes the realization of the things we must do is enough to inspire meaningful, beautiful change in the future.