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Confessions of a ‘Clutterer'

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Iíve got something of a problem.

I know this comes as no surprise to many of you who think I could fill a Christmas list with some of my problems, but I do. I have a problem.

I donít like to throw stuff away.

I clean my desk off about once every six months and the only surprise is that Jimmy Hoffa hasnít turned up there yet. I keep every Walmart and Piggly Wiggly receipt, Sweet and Lo packages, medicine bottles, work papers, non-work papers, just about everything.

I hate throwing things away as much as I hate putting things away. I put something away and itís never seen or heard from again.

They will find Jimmy Hoffa before I find whatever it was I tried to put away.

I have to have everything within armís reach, like Iím in a big nest.

Iím a ďnester.Ē I like all my books and writing stuff arranged just so in front of the couch so I can reach it with minimal movement on my part.

I donít like to get up and look for things. I like to swivel around in my chair and find it on the floor at my feet.

My problem is, six years of arranging things at my feet has turned the area around my desk chair into something resembling an army fort.

I donít have piles of stuff anymore. I have walls of stuff.

I decided this past weekend that enough was enough.

As my best friend said, ďYou clean.Ē

She thinks cleaning is good for the soul. It does a mind and body good.

ďYou clean,Ē she tells me, ďSo you donít get fat.Ē

Good advice, I thought.

So, Iím cleaning.

My problem is, there is a word for me and itís not ďnester.Ē

While Iím not quite a hoarder I am what you call a ďclutterer.Ē

Thatís what I am surrounded by, clutter. Years of it.

I have two vices. I love to read and I love to watch movies.

And I have a house full of both books and DVDs.

Last summer I parted company with about a thousand DVDs. These were movies I wanted to watch one time and that was it. So I sold them.

I made close to $900 on these DVDs, which, if you do the math, is less than a dollar a DVD.

The books are another story. I canít do anything with the books.

I love to buy books. I buy books I have no intention of reading because itís a Tom Clancy book and I have about 40 pounds worth of Tom Clancy books on my bookshelf and I need to buy the latest book to keep my collection current.

I found something out about my books, specifically my Tom Clancy books, the last time I moved.

The sentimentality of a particular item is inversely related to how many times you are willing to pack it and move it.

I had moved my Tom Clancy books four times in six years.

When I packed up the books the last time I moved and realized I had two boxes of books I would never read, I thought, enough is enough.

Iím not moving these books anymore.

So I gave them to my son.

He liked the Tom Clancy Rainbow Six video game, but has yet to read the first Tom Clancy book.

He has every book Clancy ever wrote but hasnít read the first page.

I guess in this case, the fact that Tom Clancy died, is a good thing.

So Iím cleaning my apartment of clutter.

This is hard too. I donít want to give up my things.

I donít care if they ever find Jimmy Hoffa or not.

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