March 12, 2014

A File Disaster

It was a cold and stormy winter at my place. One of the pipes froze — ironically, a hot water pipe, but that tells you how cold it was. The power was out for four days. The well broke. When it was all over, I noticed that my file cabinet also got wet.

March 05, 2014

14 Hours at a House Fire

I have written in general terms about the way clutter can be a fire risk, but here is a true-life story from today’s news that shows the inconvenience of clutter in a form most people wouldn’t think of.

From a Telegraph & Argus story:

Firefighters spent almost 14 hours at the scene of a house blaze because there was so much clutter in the property they could not tell if anyone was trapped inside.

February 07, 2014

The Importance of Sleep, 25 Different Ways

It is tempting to think of sleep as optional, and then to try to get more done by staying up later and sleeping less. It is a strategy that doesn’t work as well as it might seem it should. Researchers keep discovering more and more ways that sleep is important. Writing in Business Insider, Lauren F. Friedman lists:

January 01, 2014

Happy “Srsly. OMG. New” Year

I think sometimes we forget to change. Times change, we know we need to change too, but we forget. This especially applies to those of us who are old enough to have maybe earned a college diploma or changed jobs more than one or two times. We anticipate difficulties and obstacles, just as part of staying where we are. We get jaded. That’s when “new” starts to mean a new hat and maybe painting over the stain on the front porch, and “new year” becomes something along the lines of this overnight tweet from the Angry Birds video game:

December 28, 2012

Resolution to Pay Down Debt

My new year’s resolution is to pay down debts. That’s not very original, I know, it might even be a bit trite, but I think it’s the right place to focus my intentions for the new year.

I wish I could say I would be paying off my debts in 2013. Possibly I can, but when I compare the amount I owe to my expected income, it seems more realistic to state a goal of paying off half of my debt or more during the year.

July 24, 2012

A Chance to Slip Changes Past People

There are times when you know the world’s attention will be elsewhere.

In a few days, for example, the spectacle of the Olympics will grab the world’s attention and hold it for weeks. Events on this scale are planned years in advance, so you know exactly when they’re coming.

If there is something you want to change, if only you could sidestep the resistance to change that naturally comes from the people around you, this is the perfect time to do it.

June 04, 2012

Where Do I Start? (part 3)

In an ideal world, there would never be a post called “Where Do I Start? part 3.” Even “Where Do I Start? part 2” ought to raise a few eyebrows. But “part 3”? “When are you actually going to start?” people might ask.

Clutter, though, is that kind of a problem. It can be hard to address effectively. Clutter is at the root of many other problems in life, so much so that it isn’t reasonable to say that you will put off working on clutter until you are in the right mood or you have enough time, energy, money, strength of purpose, or emotional clarity. Clutter itself may be at the root of all of the problems that serve as excuses. Clutter is the reason you don’t have time. Clutter can sap your energy, confuse your direction in life, and in general keep you from getting things done. You might, then, have to start on clutter before you are really ready.

May 16, 2012

Where Do I Start? (part 2)

Did you ever solve a crossword puzzle? It doesn’t really matter what word you write in first, as long as you can fill in all the words in the puzzle in the end. You might as well start with the words you are most sure of, because filling those in is certain to give you more clarity on some of the other words.

It is the same way when it is spring cleaning time. As I explained in the last post, it makes good sense to start by clearing away the clutter, but it scarcely matters which clutter you start on first. You might as well start on the clutter you are most sure of, because taking that away is certain to give you more clarity on some of the other clutter.

There are nevertheless a great many people who hesitate. They want to know what order to go, what to do first, what to do second, and so on through the conclusion, before they get started.

There is a reason so many people hesitate when it comes to clutter.