Monday, February 2, 2009

Clutter, Peter Walsh and Oprah

This morning, I had the rare chance of watching Oprah on TV. She is one of those talk show hosts that I like to watch but can't because of various domestic issues.

Anyway, this morning when the boys were at work and at school, I sat down with Megan and watched this episode where they were talking about clutter and its effect on us.

She interviewed a man called Peter Walsh, who is an organizational consultant. I was a little surprised that there is such a job because I would really like to compare notes with him! (I am a freak too when it comes to being organized).

According to him, there are 2 main reasons for clutter - people who store things for memory sake and people who store things for usage at a later date, just-in-case etc. He also said that clutter can have an impact on the way we view our life, our weight as well as our sex life. This is because we will have an impaired view of our life when we are surrounded with clutter and this will lead to how we see the world (of course he says it in a nices way, but that is the meaning). Clutter in our kitchen will also lead to us getting fat because it makes us feel like there is fat all around us. Clutter in the house, specifically the bedroom will have an effect on our sex life because we will have no room for us to roll around!! Well! Finally an incentive to be clutter free!

I used to be a big fan of storing for usage at a later date. Then, one day, I snapped, I just cannot bear to have all the things around me. I felt a little suffocated and a little pissed. So, I took many plastic bags and began sorting things out. Most of my things went to donations. Others went to recycling bins. I was a little shocked with the amount of plastic ware I have accumulated over the years. I also started to clean from room to room, instead of cleaning the whole house at once, gave me the illussion that it was more manageable - according to Peter, I was actually on the right track!

The other rule of thumb I have is that if something is not used or worn in the last 6 months, it would have to go as well. Peter was a little more generous - he said 12 months.

Anyway, now my house looks more "free" and not so cluttered for sure. I even organized Ryan's toys into boxes. While he may not get the idea yet, it certainly helps me when I have to look for some of his things which he claims are missing. And I am determined to teach my kids these organizational skills, at least it will lessen work for me!

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