Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chaos and Clutter

Thermodynamics is a funny subject. The first time you go through it, you don't understand it at all. The second time you go through it, you think you understand it, except for one or two small points. The third time you go through it, you know you don't understand it, but by that time you are so used to it, it doesn't bother you any more.
-- Arnold Sommerfeld

Life is filled with chaos and clutter. The third Law of Thermodynamics would imply that creation itself strives toward complete entropy. Randomness rules. For housework, it means that the interior of my house looks like a tornado just blew through. There is a sea of books on the floor (at least they are in boxes), paper bits everywhere, candy wrappers (Valentine's Day colored this time) and just random stuff. And this is not including the Christmas decorations (boxed up, thank goodness) that are in the foyer. I have had two different people come to the front door and ask if we are in the middle of moving. Sigh.

Here's what I know about clutter: it grows to fill (and overfill) the given space. I even know HOW to deal with clutter: every item has to have a place. And it must be in it's place, or chaos will rule. So the gameplan has been:
  • Find a place for everything and put it in it's place.
  • If there is no place for the item them:
    1. Give it away.
    2. Sell it.
    3. Trash it.

Seems simple, yes? Except there is another axiom: everyone in the house has to be on board with the plan. It is impossible to do this cleaning up of the common spaces without total cooperation from the family. Also, there needs to be communication with what exactly the standards are for a clean common space.

I think we need to do this with our lives, as well: with our time and with our mental energies.

So today, I will be (again) trying to declutter my life. I have to deal with all the stuff in the common spaces today because it's driving me crazy. ¡Adelante!

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