Making exceptions to your uncluttered standards

We all make exceptions to the uncluttered standards we have in place. In my closet are one or two pieces of clothing that don’t fit me right, but for some reason I haven’t been able to give them away to charity. There is a chipped mug in my kitchen cupboards that we got as a wedding gift and the sentimentality of the object pulls at my heartstrings. Also, there is an enormous Jumperoo in my office that makes me wince every time I walk past it, but all the jump, jump, jumping makes my son so blissfully happy that it stays.

Making exceptions to uncluttered standards, though, can become a slippery slope. If we don’t keep a watchful eye on our stuff, eventually our entire homes and offices are filled with clutter again. This is especially true in places where clutter can easily hide — closets, cupboards, and toy bins.

As a result, I have created a new uncluttered standard for my exceptions. It states:

If getting rid of the object causes more distraction than having the object, I keep it.

If I got rid of the chipped mug in my cupboard, I probably wouldn’t think twice about it once it was gone. So, the mug should go.

However, if I got rid of the Jumperoo, I’d feel extreme guilt. I’d know that I had gotten rid of one of my son’s favorite things and it would continue to distract me for weeks to come. Since there isn’t any other reason he shouldn’t have it except for the fact that I hate how much room it takes up in my office, I’m keeping it. (The minute he gets too big for it, though, that thing is gone.)

Do you make exceptions to your uncluttered standards? If so, how do you keep these exceptions from cluttering up your space?

44 Comments for “Making exceptions to your uncluttered standards”

  1. posted by Suzyn on

    There’s a jumpy-thingy that hangs from a door frame. Doesn’t take up much room at all and my boys adored it.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Suzyn — My husband is terrified by those. Our friends have them and they totally freak him out. He’s convinced they’re unsafe, irrespective of facts otherwise.

  3. posted by Awurrlu on

    Can you still use the mug? If it’s chipped but still usable, think of it as an appreciation of the imperfect, the Japanese concept of wabi sabi.

    My desk at home can get very cluttered since I’m gone from the house 12 hours a day at least. Luckily, it’s a drop front desk, so I can hide the pile of unopened mail until I can get to it over the weekend. My weekend paperwork routine is cathartic, as I end up with a clean desk at the end.

  4. posted by Camilla on

    I use chipped mugs or mugs with broken handles as pen/pencil cups on desks or the kitchen counter. It becomes a piece of art, and is much less “office” looking than the stuff you can get at the office supply store. I’ve had several mugs find new life this way, and they make me smile every time I see them, because they are still being used. πŸ™‚

  5. posted by Celeste on

    ITA with the posters who say repurpose the chipped mug if it brings you sentimental happiness. You can file down and/or coat the chipped area with clear nail polish if you think the sharpness of the chip makes it dangerous clutter. I’d repurpose it in the laundry room to hold coins or any other pocket treasures.

  6. posted by Marie on

    The best standard I have ever heard for determining what stays and what goes is,

    “Does this represent the highest me?”

    When I think of this object is the instantaneous physical feeling inside my body one of “ughhh” or a happy “ahhh”?

    The main criteria for this one of the below:
    Do I need it?
    Is it genuinely useful?
    Do I absolutely love it?


  7. posted by Lilliane P on

    Usefulness is sometimes the key for an object. There are some things that are not used daily but are just the right thing to have when you need it. I keep, and use, my grandmother’s old double boiler which I use to make a five day supply of oatmeal at a time as well as rice pudding and things like pumpkin/potato soup. The double boiler shows its years but still functions well and doesn’t fit anywhere conveniently due to height and shape. It sits on the top of the fridge, only place I’ve found where I can access it easily, but it does get used.

  8. posted by Sarah on

    I completely understand!
    It’s so strange to suddenly have to think of what your children want to keep and what they don’t really want or need.

  9. posted by Samantha on

    I am not sure that the Jumperoo is really an example of clutter as is being used and is loved by your baby. I have noticed with our daughter that there is a definite inverse relationship to how much she loves a thing and how aesthetically pleasing I find said object and think that is probably typical.

  10. posted by Dawn F. on

    I think my biggest exception to keeping a cluttery-type thing is “will it cause a breakdown or a battle with my…”?

    For example, my husband dearly loves his ridiculously large SoloFlex work-out machine. Has he used it in the past 10 years? Nope, not even once. It is ugly, large and dangerous (for our young child to want to climb on)? Yes. Does it irk my soul every time I see it in our office (where I work from home every single day)? Ya know it!

    But, he dearly cherishs that chunk of metal and practically bursts into tears every time I gently ask for it to be sent away (for cash hopefully), but darn it, I love him bunches so I just bite my tongue and keep the hideous thing. πŸ™‚

    So, I guess if getting rid of the item will cause major breakdowns or battles then I keep it and figure out how to work it into our space. This doesn’t happen very often, but there are the occasional exceptions to my “minimize the clutter and live simply” house slogan. πŸ™‚

  11. posted by NancyV908 on

    Yes, it’s a slippery slope, but I have really compromised with my kids, & I am OK with that. I am teaching them to put things away & to play with one thing at a time, but with young children the lesson only goes so far. I do not like the look of toys out in the open, but some are big, & they need to be accessible. I just try to use nice containers & do the best I can. And as kids get older & have multipiece toys….oy. It is a big mess when my son combines train tracks, blocks, & Legos, but I feel that telling him he could only use them in sequence is wrong. I know what you mean about living for the day when you can get rid of those bulky items. A lot of them have longer lives than you hope for, though!

    I just think there need to be limits on one’s organizational goals when young kids are involved. A completely uncluttered existence can thwart their play & creativity. A woman once told me she would only let her kids color with one crayon at a time–she made sure they put each one back before choosing another. Come on! Why couldn’t they clean up at the end so they could actually ENJOY the coloring part? And I saw a magazine article once of a pristine modern space; the owners boasted of their really stringent restrictions on how their young children could play & I remember feeling that I should call child protective services.

    That’s not to say there shouldn’t be rules & standards. The older the kids get, the stricter I am. I rotate toys. And my kids have fewer toys than a lot of their peers do. And even if they don’t always do a good job, every night without fail we have family cleanup–to foster the idea that putting things away is part of playing. I am hoping that over time these lessons will be learned. In the meantime, I am living with more mess than I would like, but it’s in limits, & I’m OK with it.

  12. posted by penguinlady on

    My approach to sentimental things is, if it means a lot to you now, keep it – with the expectation that in the near-ish future, it may no longer mean as much to you, at which time you can let it go. When my mother died, I held on to a lot of her stuff because I simply couldn’t part with it. Now, two years later, my fists are unclenching and I’m letting go of the things I don’t need.

  13. posted by Karen on

    The thing to remember about kids’ clutter–their toys, whatnot–is that it is not permanent clutter. That is to say, it is not stuff that will be permanently residing in your home. I have baskets of toys all over my family room, at least around the edges, but in five years, most of those toys will be in storage or gone, because the kids will outgrow them.

    There is a large castle tent in my family room as well; it’s not ideal, but the kids adore playing in it. It will be gone in a few years.

    It’s like the Jumperoo–it is serving a purpose, therefore it is not clutter. Yes, it takes up room, but what were you using that room for in the first place? And how long will it really be there?

    Taking the long view of kids’ stuff helps me deal with the temporary chaos and “clutter”.

  14. posted by Vicki K on

    My chipped drinking vessel is a teacup and it was perfect for making into a pincushion. I probably use it more now than I did as a drinking cup.

    When my children had all those crazy-making-to-me toys and apparati, I tried to look at it as a “season of life”. Keeping my own things and the rest of the house under control during that time helped a lot.

  15. posted by Sue on

    I had a large coffee mug that had a crack in the side, making it unusable for liquids. So, as others have mentioned, I made it into a pen/pencil/desky holder. I used it until it broke further, but by then I was ready to let it go.

    When I do my purges, if I know that I should get rid of something & can’t, I keep it because I know that there will come a time when I can release it without major guilt.

    One way that makes it easier for me to release things is when I can find a home for them. I belong to PaperbackSwap & Bookmooch, so when I no longer want a book, for any reason including “it was a dud” or that I have enough other references in that subject. Then I can let it go to someone who wants it because their tastes &/or needs are different.

    I also freecycle, so that makes releasing other things easier.

    I think that there will come a time when I can release somethings I have that have a monetary value as well… I’ll probably Craigslist them or place them with an Ebay reseller in the area.

    Then there’s the big dumpster in the alley, too!!

  16. posted by chacha1 on

    I wouldn’t have a problem with “kid” clutter either, as long as it’s possible to confine it (i.e. it shouldn’t be all over the house). It’s *spouse* clutter that I think is a bigger problem, where one person’s sentimental attachment to things materially affects the other person’s peace or comfort.

    A person who works at home should not have to share their workspace with a never-used giant piece of gym equipment. I think in a case like that, a breakdown/battle is long overdue!

    As Erin said, it’s a slippery slope. Once a person is valuing a thing more highly than he/she values the other people in his/her home, there is a problem.

  17. posted by Caroline Totah on

    If certain sentimental objects bring you joy to look at, then I think it’s fine to sprinkle them throughout the places you frequent as you go about your day. Does that cup make you smile every time you open your cupboard? Are you still able to store everything else you need to store in there without the cup being a hindrance? If both answers are “yes,” then keep the cup!

    I often encourage my clients to put small sentimental pieces of clothing, like a scarf or handkerchief, in their underwear drawer so they can start each day off with a warm memory. When the time is right to let it go, they’ll know.

  18. posted by Karyn on

    That Rainforest Jumperoo is freakin’ AWESOME. No wonder your kid likes it. πŸ˜‰ If Fisher-Price made an office chair version for adults–complete with the palm fronds hanging over the frog chair–I would own it, and love it. It just makes me grin to look at it.

    Yeah, it’s taking up space, but I can just visualize how much joy your kid gets bouncing and playing in that thing. So just imagine how much joy you can get because you don’t have to imagine, you can watch him and his joy.

    As others said, if it’s being used and loved, it ain’t clutter. πŸ˜€

  19. posted by Karen on

    I’m not sure I qualify to have “uncluttered” standards yet, but I did keep the deer skull (with antlers attached!) that my son found when we were walking the dogs a few years ago. Sure, it’s useless, it has no sentimental value, but it’s so cool I just can’t throw it out.

  20. posted by Suzyn on

    @Erin – ah yes, illogical parental fears – we all have to make room for them! Take hope in the fact that your son will grow faster than you could ever imagine, and unless you’re planning on/hoping for another kid, you’ll be able to get rid of the giant jumpy thingy soon.

  21. posted by Karyn on

    Oh, yeah, a bit of advice from one who’s Been There: Never never ever get rid of something that is still in the Beloved Plaything/Toy/Whatever category for your child. I once threw out a favorite toy of my son’s as a (stupid) “punishment” for bad behavior (granted, it was in shabby shape by then, well-used and all) and am still haunted to this day with regret for the stupid, cruel, unnecessary pain I caused my son. My son is 23 years old, and probably doesn’t even remember either the toy or the incident, but it still bothers me. Even if there’s no misguided “punitive” angle involved, it’s still hurtful to a child to take away something they’re still attached to. They aren’t old enough to be Zen about their Stuff, yet. πŸ˜‰

    And yes, I did eventually learn to be more mature in my approach to parental discipline, learning that the root of the word is “disciple,” which means to guide and to set a good example. Hopefully I got better at doing just that.

  22. posted by infmom on

    I don’t often have a problem getting rid of “stuff” once I put my mind to it, but then again, out in our storage room, I have one of those Rubbermaid wrapping-paper holders crammed to the gills with old posters neatly rolled into cardboard tubes. I have no idea if I’ll ever put them on my walls again, but I can’t bear to part with them, especially the London Transport ones from the 70s that are irreplaceable. Yes, I’m making excuses for not freeing up that space.

    My husband’s the one who really gets a gargantuan case of the wim-wams about getting rid of excess stuff. His parents raised him never to dispose of anything that is “still good,” as I discovered when I once suggested getting rid of a can of Desenex foot powder that had been sitting on his dresser for at least ten years. He insisted it was still good. His dad worked for the company that made the stuff, and HE said that the can was closer to 20 years old and yes, it should be discarded. Sometimes you just have to talk with a Higher Authority. πŸ™‚

  23. posted by infmom on

    Karyn–my parents never understood why anything that was not important to them could possibly matter to anyone else and they tossed out my brothers’ and my childhood treasures without a second thought. (My dad laughed for decades about my rage at finding he’d used a brand new comic book of mine to scoop up doggie doo in the hall.)

    Once I discovered eBay I spent years looking for, and buying, replacements for various lost treasures. It certainly gave me a sense of closure (and yes, I bought back a copy of that comic book).

    I never got rid of any of my kids’ stuff without consulting with them and getting approval first.

  24. posted by Aeon J. Skoble on

    Well, the general rule is that it’s not clutter if it has value. Sentimental value is a species of value, so the relevant questions become: what sentiment is invoked, how strongly does it move me, can I re-evaluate this attachment, and so on. Sometimes I’ll realize that I have saved (e.g.) a sweater I never wear because it was a gift from Aunt so-and-so, but that’s less significant to me than I thought 5 years ago, plus I have some other memento from her which means a lot more, so the sweater goes to good will. OTOH, cute notes from my kids have much longer staying power, so the trick is just to corral them (the notes, not the kids).

  25. posted by Karyn on

    @infmom – Good God, how awful. I guess I can take consolation that I learned from my mistakes and corrected my course along the way; at any rate, my son seems to have turned out all right, despite my youthful idiocies. But to still not learn from one’s mistakes twenty, thirty, or more years later? All you can do, I suppose, is accept that you can’t make someone else gain insight or grow, you can only take your own lessons from it and do what is in your own power to set a better course.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give Erin the heads-up to avoid one parental pitfall, as much as possible, while she’s still early on in the game. πŸ˜‰ Bet she never knew she’d get a cheering section when she started doing this blogging thing!

  26. posted by Karen on

    And to piggyback off the “don’t toss a favorite toy” theme…my mom decided one day that I no longer “needed” the security blankets that I had in my closet. No, I didn’t sleep with them anymore, but I wanted to keep them. One day they were gone from my closet. I asked her and she said, “Oh, I didn’t think you needed that anymore.”

    She did the same with our Star Wars toys, which were always neatly put away in a closet, so it’s not like they were clutter. I would have loved to have had those for my boys, they adore Star Wars.

    So yes, if it’s time to declutter toys (i.e. there are toys the kids really, really don’t play with anymore, and cannot be saved for the next generation), let the kids in on it, and work with them. Don’t just toss stuff and let them find out later.

    And please don’t toss security blankets! πŸ™

  27. posted by WilliamB on

    Based on your description of the item and it’s use, I’d classify it as awkward, inconvenient and perhaps unaethetic but not clutter. Isn’t part of the definition of clutter something you don’t need, doesn’t add to your (family’s) life, or that isn’t loved?

    There’s a lot to be said for something that amuses and contains your child at the same time. Particularly once the child becomes otherwise mobile. The loss of the jumperoo might not distract you, but your son certainly will.

    Just about any kid’s toy is likely temporary. That said, consider not getting rid of it till you decide whether you want more kids. (There are those who keep such things *because* they decided they didn’t want more kids, as insurance.)

    For kids, I think a once a day cleanup is a good balance between allowing creativity and play on the one hand, and keeping tidy and developing good habits on the other. How are you supposed to learn to combine colors if you only get one crayon at a time? To create mixed media art if you can use only one set at a time? To invent something new, if you think of a new way to combine things but your parent won’t let you work with both at the same time?

  28. posted by Mary on

    Can’t there be a happy medium between tossing your kid’s toys while cackling in glee and hoarding every straw wrapper so as not to traumatize Snowflake?

    We rotate toys, and ones that are outgrown or have lost interest go into a dated box. At birthdays and Christmas, boxed items are selected for donation to charity. Our son makes all the decisions, but he knows that something has to go when something new comes in.

  29. posted by Karyn on

    @Mary – I don’t think any of us meant to suggest never throw anything away and let the garbage pile high in the name of nostalgia. πŸ˜‰ All I said, myself, is, Don’t throw it away while it’s still meaningful, useful, beloved, etc. to your child. And I’m talking about real toys and other possessions, not straw wrappers or other straw men. I’m advocating the happy middle ground of courtesy and respect which lies between disrespect and snowflakiness.

    The bottom line is to let your child be the one to decide what s/he is ready to get rid of in order to make space for the new. Train the kid to be self-uncluttering… though during the teen years, you just might have to settle for “keep it all in YOUR room and keep the door closed at all times.” πŸ˜€ But they outgrow that, never fear.

  30. posted by Karyn on

    Okay, I should add to the above that in the case of babies and small children, you, the adult, will have to make the uncluttering decisions. πŸ˜‰ But make it based on your observations of when the baby/child has naturally grown “detached” from the objects in question, outgrown them and moved on to something else, i.e., when THEY no longer value them, vs. whether you yourself value them.

  31. posted by Michelle on

    I hear you on the jumperoo. Those things take up so much space! I wish they would invent one that collapses flat. The thing will be outgrown in no time, so try not to think about it too much.

  32. posted by Will on

    I would love to have less clutter around the house and try to keep things relatively picked up, but my wife and 2 young daughters are, God help me, trashy people who are borderline horders. They aren’t going to change their ways anytime soon though, so I am popping Xanaxs like crazy and trying to grin and bear it. (sigh)

  33. posted by Mletta on

    Oh, and I thought our mother was the only one to do this–just waltz into our rooms and toss whatever she felt like with no regard. I can still feel the pain years later. It caused a huge rift due to the nature of some of the items. (It was just one of my mother’s many control issues.)

    FYI: My room was immaculate and tidy and there was no junk or excess. (Didn’t have that much but a few things that mattered very, very much to me.)

    For any parents reading this, once your kids are over the toddler age, they are old enough for you to consider their feelings. And if your kids are in their teens, please, do not just go into their rooms and toss stuff. Show some respect…or be prepared for the consequences, which can last a lifetime. Seriously.

    Think about how you’d feel if your kids decided to go through your stuff while you weren’t around and just toss it. Just because kids have not yet left the house does not mean you own their property.

    If you’ve got problems or issues, including safety ones, then have a discussion.

    And for spouses who are neatniks with spouses with clutter tendencies…do not even think of throwing stuff out without permission. I can’t think of something that shows less respect. I’ve witnessed both male and female spouses toss stuff with no regard for the owner’s feelings. It’s not pretty folks and it is so disrespectful. We’re adults here and should be treated as such.

  34. posted by Sarah on

    Yes, there is a fine line between keeping sentimental toys and hoarding. I grew up in a family of hoarders who still have a house full of “stuff”. My parents asked me to help clean out my 23 year old brother’s room, and he has kept every piece of paper and toy he has ever owned/used. I got rid of almost everything. He called to ask about one item but that is it. Please teach your children that it is ok to give toys away and not keep everything!! It can become very disturbing later in life. I did keep all of my Barbie dolls, as my mother did, and now have a beautiful collection spanning back to the 50s to pass on to my future daughters, but mostly got rid of everything else.

    My baby blanket was mistakenly thrown away by a friends housekeeper at a sleepover, but it was probably time to stop sleeping with it πŸ™‚

  35. posted by Jackie Pettus on

    The only exceptions I make are “things” that need to be done. They stay in view to remind me. I keep them from cluttering up the space by doing them! The only problem with this method is my husband, who likes to “help” by putting things away. Last week I took the stepladder out of the closet to change a lightbulb. I went downstairs to get a bulb and by the time I got back he had put the ladder away. Oh well, there are worse problems than an overly helpful husband…..

  36. posted by Peter on

    Normally I’m a very tidy person and love to keep everything very minimal. Unfortunately the dishes are have been piling up in the drying rack and we just use them straight from it.

    This exception is probably for to do with laziness but I guess I’ve been letting it go because I feel like there are more important things to be doing.

    When I’m finished working on all of my websites, projects, garden, marketing course and everything else on my to do list I’ll get to it….

    Maybe some time in the next ten years or so.

  37. posted by Kyle on

    I have a “clutter-okay” zone where I can pile up paperwork, small projects, etc. One place in the house/apartment, typically in the bedroom so most guests would never see it, and I tackle it every week or so to keep it from getting completely out of hand.

  38. posted by jen on

    My exceptions come in the form of Things That Are Used daily (or darm close to daily!) and that somehow geuninely enhance our quality of life. They are beautiful, for example. We have six people in a 2500 sq foot, 1890 farmhouse in rural Virginia, so we do NOT have room for the junk.

    Exceptions to our uncluttered-ness are the violins. I allow them to be out and available because it’s much easier to practice, even for three minutes, if you can see and reach your violin on it’s shelf! (our players are me, the 7 yr old, the 4 yr old and the 3 yr old. Now if only I could get my husband to help me install those built-in bookcases! Cheers! and enjoy the jumpy phase. It won’t last!

  39. posted by Reya on

    WOW. Your child’s favorite toy is “clutter” because it irritates you?

    You act like “uncluttering” is some sort of virtue–ditching a cup that you love, or giving your kids only ten toys. I think you’ve gone through clutter and out the other side to an unhealthy fixation on your “decluttered” life as a source of affirmation and spiritual sustenance. That’s not any healthier than not being able to throw out something you really, really don’t want because it was great-grandma’s.

    A message for you and a growing number of your readers:

    Moderation. Try it. You don’t have to ditch everything that it isn’t spiritually worthy of you. (“Does it represent the highest me?” SERIOUSLY?) The purpose of decluttering isn’t to reach decluttered nirvana but to create a more functional and aesthetic life. For some people, believe it or not, that still means what I’d consider to be a LOT of stuff. For others, that means very few personal belongings at all. A person who throws away more, though, doesn’t become a better person through the act of purging.

    The mere fact that you’d think of your kid’s favorite toy as “clutter” indicates that you’ve slipped far into bulimic decluttering.

  40. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Reya — Your comment indicates that you are not a regular reader of this website. If you were, you would know that we don’t take an extremist view. Additionally, if you have children, then I bet there is something your child has that you hate. For me, it’s a Jumperoo. For my friend Krystal, it’s her son’s giant rocking horse. If you don’t have children, I bet the same is true for a parent, friend, spouse, or neighbor. You may not personally like the flamingos in your neighbor’s yard, but you don’t go and rip them up. You don’t have to like everything all the people around you like. It’s okay. Being different is totally fine.

  41. posted by disconnect on

    As soon as my girls outgrew their Jumperoo, it went on craigslist, and it was gone within a week. And you know, I actually miss the damn thing, and I get a little wistful that it’s gone. But then I remind myself that the whole reason I miss it is because the girls got too big for it, and some other baby is enjoying the hell out of it (the lady who bought it sent me a youtube link with her baby going batshit crazy jumping in the thing). And I still have my videos of my girls enjoying it.

  42. posted by Reya on

    Actually, I’ve read every single entry from the very first one. The comments were a good deal more shrill in the first year, but once a month or so, there’s still a post that brings out the “my-values-are-the-only-right-ones” responses by the bushel. (The “only 10 toys” reference is to a post that you probably don’t even remember.) The unitasker posts are most often the worst offenders, but there are others.

    Yes, I hated the baby swing because it was in the way. That doesn’t mean that it was “clutter” or that I was relaxing my standards because I didn’t toss it! It never would have occurred to me in my wildest dreams to label it clutter–because clutter is, by definition, extraneous and purposeless. And while I’m glad to pack everything away again, I’m not getting rid of it until I know I’m done with kids–if you have the physical space to keep such things out of the way, doing otherwise is simply wasteful.

    You’re going beyond “uncluttering” into something else–a place where you’re throwing away things that you love and that make you happy and aren’t interfering in any way; a place where something truly useful becomes “clutter” in your mind; a place where decluttering is an end and not a means. Purging for the sake of purging isn’t any healthier than keeping for the sake of keeping. Both are the externalization of a need to control one’s environment, and both are adding baggage to something that shouldn’t be so dramatic.

    You write in defensiveness every couple of months about “hate mail” you get from people who say you think you’re better than other people, etc. When I first began reading, I projected my own feelings about “life clutter” onto you and was wholly on your side. The longer I read, though, and the more of your back-posts I read, the more I began leaning toward the view of your critics. And yes, I do read a number of other organization blogs, and each has its own tone (I suspect that half Jeri Dansky’s enjoyment of organization is the pretty containers she can use!) and its own bent, but this is the only one I get the sense from that the act of decluttering–not even organization, per se, but decluttering–is more important than the result.

    Just because it’s the first time I’ve posted doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading for a long time. This posts, though, epitomized everything that has bothered me about your blog for a long time. While it’s nice to have a blog from a “naturally messy” neat person, as I am, too, if it veers too far in the other direction toward compulsive purging, it will cease to be useful.

  43. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Reya — I guess we’ll just have to disagree. You think I’m a nutjob who promotes getting rid of things for the sole purpose of getting rid of things, and I know from my own life that your opinion is inaccurate.

    If you want to read about real extremists, though, you should Google “freegan” and “ascetic” to see learn about those groups. I am neither, and neither of those groups would count me as a member. That being said, I have nothing against these groups and support people’s choices to live however they wish. It doesn’t hurt me in the least.

    Which, brings me back to my main point — it’s okay if your definition of an unclutterer and mine are different. Being different is a good thing. It makes the world a rich place to live.

    Finally, the first few months of Unclutterer’s history, I didn’t even work here. I think many of your complaints aren’t even with my writing, but with Jerry’s, Matt’s or other team members. I, obviously, wrote this post, but I don’t think this is the one you have the biggest problem with based on your comments. Again, we all have different view points on uncluttering, and each person views it differently. It’s okay if you don’t agree with everything we write.

  44. posted by Open Loops 12/1/2009: Articles I Think Worth Passing Along | on

    […] over at Unclutterer talks about “Making exceptions to your uncluttered standards”. Her point: “If getting rid of the object causes more distraction than having the object, I […]

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