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?