March 05, 2020

Two Starting Points

March of Trash asks you to take action on clutter every day for a month.

It is well known that clutter makes a bad first impression, but this effect is more important in specific places. In this post I focus on the two points of view that I think are most important when looking at your possessions:

  • The things you see when you first open your eyes in the morning
  • What you and your visitors see as you enter the front door

There is no substitute for going to these specific places and seeing what is most visible from these specific angles. Sit or lie on the bed. Close your eyes and imagine the start of a day. Open your eyes. What kind of impression do you get from the first things you see?

Similarly, stand one step inside the front door. You might even turn out the light and turn it on the way you do when you are entering. What are the first things you see from this spot? What items make the largest impression? What kind of feeling does this point of view give you about the place you are entering?

Moving things around is not the ultimate answer to clutter, but it is always something to consider from these two particular vantage points. There are some things you will probably decide you need to have, but they are not so pleasant that you want them to be the first things you see.

Tools in general, but especially cutting tools and cleaning tools, are better kept out of sight, at least for these two starting points. These tools embody destructive power as part of their essential nature and need to be approached with care. There is a corresponding degree of stress, or at least respect, when you see one of these tools. You feel more confident and more relaxed if they are not the first thing you see.

There are similar considerations with anything that is broken or that represents a hazard. These are the kinds of things you can look to remove from a place that is in the line of sight of the bed or front door.

Look at everything you can see from these two starting points and decide how best to improve what you see. The view from your bed is important because it can affect the way you see your whole day. It may also help to determine the quality of your sleep if you are seeing the same things as you are falling asleep at night. The view as you enter the front door affects the way you understand your place in the world, and it has a similar effect on the way others view you. The comparison between your personal appearance and the views from these two places has a lot to do with whether you see yourself as “the real deal” or a phony, and it affects others’ view of you in a similar way.

Again, you cannot discover the clutter in these places by looking in your imagination. Actually go to the bed and the front door and see how much clutter you can find.

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