Clutter

It seems that wherever I turn these days, I’m not only surrounded by clutter but continually attracting more.

My green canvas workbag that weighed only ounces when I purchased it now tops the scale at almost ten pounds. It’s not just the poundage or the fact that I list a little to starboard when I walk, but there’s simply no  room in that bag for anything else.

The strange thing is that there’s very little in that bag that I actually use on an ongoing basis. No candy wrappers or extra pairs of shoes, just pens, papers, keys, and folders – some with only a few sheets in them none of which I need today but feel compelled to have with me all the time.

As you can imagine, my desk is no better. Stacks of papers here and there that need and deserve filing. And then there are all the little trinkets that I fiddle with while I’m talking on the phone.

The most challenging to me are all those pieces of paper that have very little to do with work. These range from receipts for personal expenses to insurance papers, old photos, stuff I receive in the mail and want to save, and one government form after the next.

But I think the visible clutter is the easy part. What about all those things that are continually swarming around in my brain – things to do, people to see, meetings to think about and prepare, and the ever expanding to-do list?

And passwords. There was a time that I needed only one simple password. Now some websites require a minimum number of characters, a capital letter, and/or a numeral or two.

So I took the plunge to dump the clutter and get super organized. I purchased a ScanSnap desktop scanner and am migrating entirely to cloud computing. I have a Dropbox account and use Evernote more and more every day. It’s great. And my iPhone syncs with my iPad and with my office computer.

But alas, there’s still clutter of a mental kind – keeping track of what document or task list is where.

I don’t think it’s just me and I don’t think I’m not alone. Everyone is dealing with more and more clutter. I suppose it’s just a sign of the times.

But short of retreating to a secluded cabin in the woods with no electricity, water, Internet access, or phone service, there aren’t many alternatives. And most likely 24 hours without Internet access would drive me crazy anyway. So the vote is in. I’ll keep the clutter a little longer.

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