March 28, 2017

Clutter Spotlight #9: Clutter on the Ceiling

Look up. What do you see? Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, chances are, it’s a ceiling, the part of the room that is most likely to go unnoticed.

March 27, 2017

Clutter Spotlight #8: Change

Suzanne is a change magnet. She is not only changing her surroundings by removing clutter, but she is finding change — coins, that is — in unexpected places as she goes along.

It’s funny to think of money as clutter, but that’s what it is when it is so disorganized you wouldn’t think of spending it. Organized into $10 rolls, the stray quarters turn into something you can do something with.

March 26, 2017

March 18, 2017


There was a major winter storm here this week. My clutter-busting on Tuesday consisted of removing unwanted snow mixed with sleet from my car and the pavement in front of it so that I would be able to drive again when the roads improved on Wednesday. By the time the snow ended, it was dark, and I never got around to shoveling the snow away from the back door. The snow froze solid Tuesday night. Ever since, I have not been able to open the back door.

March 12, 2017

Clutter Spotlight #6: 4 Sizes of Plates

I mentioned my miniature square plates so here they are. To put them in context I need to show the four sizes of plates I have, so the picture shows one of each. From largest to smallest, they are the dinner plate, small plate, dessert plate, and miniature square plate, along with a small apple to provide a sense of scale.

Traditionalists will see the problem immediately. On the traditional American table there is no use for four different sizes of plates. Indeed, you can get by with one size if you insist. That would be the small dinner plate, a size in between the dinner plate and the small plate. More conventionally, you would have two or three size of plates, but probably not four.

March 10, 2017

Clutter Spotlight #5: Two Bowls

This town ain’t big enough for two bowls.

Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but that’s what it can feel like when you realize you have two nice items in a category where one is all you will ever use.

March 08, 2017

Playing the Value Card

On the right side of the Spotlight Scorecard, you’ll see a small section labeled Value. It’s about the size of a miniature business card, with four vertical bars for marking specific qualities of an item. It’s probably not immediately obvious what this section is for or how to use it.

March 06, 2017

Clutter Spotlight #4: Scissors

Sometimes something is just worn out. That especially describes this pair of scissors. Any way you look at them, they’re pretty old. I’ve been using them for more than twenty years. The handle broke last year and is held together with gaffer’s tape. There are stains. Most of all, though, they don’t cut the way they used to. After the last big project a couple of weeks ago, the edges are so dull it takes an extra effort to cut a plastic bag.

After so many years, it can be hard to believe that something is actually used up, but that was undeniably the case here. It was time to throw these scissors away.