Well, according to our friend Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clutter)
CLUTTER : to run in disorder
1a : a crowded or confused mass or collection
b : things that clutter a place
2: interfering radar echoes caused by reflection from objects (as on the ground) other than the target
3 chiefly dialect : disturbance, hubbub
Everything in your house has a purpose. Some are very functional such as silverware, while others are purely aesthetic like sculpture. There is nothing wrong with any of these items inherently. The issue arises when for lack of space or organization, we find ourselves with excessive items which lead us to clutter. This can include a variety of items throughout your home. Obvious culprits are often mail, shoes, and laundry. But what about the mixer sitting on the counter that is used twice a year or the twenty knick knacks across the top of the upright piano. Clutter? Yes, it can be.
But, where does it come from...
Visualize with me just for a second. Imagine when you were moving into your current space. Before you moved, you packed and inevitably discarded, donated, or sold items that you no longer wanted or needed. Then you finished packing your boxes, moved them and unpacked. Not everything found a home in your new space and you may have ended up with boxes in storage either on site or else where. Fast forward a year, two, five ten, fifteen, or maybe twenty years?!? Think about all the items you have brought into your space since you moved there. Think about all the gifts you received and brought into your space. Now, think about how much has left since you moved into your space. Do you make regular donations? Do you sell valuables that you no longer use? Do you throw away broken, stained or damaged items that can not be repaired? (That was just one example of where clutter comes from, ie time and collecting.)
Other sources of clutter may be inheritance, shopaholic, downsizing, indecisive, or mobility just to name a few... What ever the cause, (let me mention that we are not trying to point fingers or blame), it is best to identify it and start to address it sooner than later.
Do you have clutter?
Each of us has our own view of clutter. While one person may like a minimalist style of home décor, they may be burdened with paper clutter. Conversely, while another person may like to have lots of knick-knacks on display (and it may look cluttered to the minimalist), they are quite organized. This is when we go back to the definition and look a little harder. Three words that stick out to me are disorder, confused and disturbance. Here are a few question to ask about your space:
- Can you find what you are looking for within five minutes?
- Are your horizontal surfaces clear? (Counters, tables, dressers, etc)
- Do your belongings interfere with the function of spaces within your home. (ie cant use a closet because there are piles of newspapers in from if it.)
- Is the safety of the occupants at risk?