When Tetris came onto the video game scene back in the 1980s, it was an instant and addictive hit. To the tune of an electric Russian dance theme, players fit falling polyominoes into one another to clear the board and achieve the most points. Hundreds of millions of people have played and, most likely, enjoyed the game.
Tetris and life have many things in common — there is a constant flow of incoming objects into your space (be it junk mail or consumables), you have to find space and organize those things that come into your space, eventually you get rid of what you have to make room for new objects, and if you don’t do these things you will lose the game (or, rather, become overwhelmed with stuff).
There are many games that have similar organizing and uncluttering themes. In Katamari Damacy players clean up clutter to create stars and planets. With Nintendogs players even have to pick up their pets’ mess when they take their dogs on virtual walks. Actually, most puzzle-type games have some anti-chaos component.
Video games are just one type of entertainment where organizing and uncluttering are themes. Each day in the newspaper, readers can organize numbers with Sudoku and words with Jumble. And, board games like Blokus require organizing skills to win.
If organizing and uncluttering are fun as games and something we do to avoid chores, why are these same activities considered chores in our homes and offices? Why don’t we look forward to putting things away? Why is cleaning up after a dinner party never as much fun as setting up? Have you found ways to make organizing and uncluttering more like a game or other form of entertainment?