I just read a quote that resonated with me -"clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions". So basically, clutter is procrastination.

Have you ever walked into someone's office that is filled to the brim with papers, books, and other things? I know I have! Actually, two of the most brilliant pharmacists I know have offices that you can't even walk in - there is no floor space at all. But, no matter how brilliant, I still feel much calmer and actually probably view the office occupier as a little more competent when they are neat and organized. 

Why do we have clutter? Sometimes it represents an indecision to deal with something. Sometimes it is an emotional or sentimental attachment to something. For many, having a lot of belongings represents security.

But what about those bad choices - the clothes we don't wear because of fit or style, the things we've replaced, or the things we think we will use "someday". I hold onto these possessions and they are just reminding me of a bad choice. I am financially motivated by things and the thought that I spent money on something that I'm not wearing just kills me. I would rather give it to a friend and think that they are wearing it than throw it directly away.

I'm comfortable with a little bit of clutter. I always envy the people with the spotless houses and I wonder where their stack of mail is or where they put their receipts. But overall, I need some organization to be productive.

I'm sure you've heard of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I've read some excerpts, heard about it from a dozen people, and seen it on morning talk shows. Clearly, people are jumping on board. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant who tauts that an item should bring joy and that your belongings should be visible and accessible....so no more junk drawers!

I occasionally run into a certain woman at the park. I saw her last week and she just looked different, lighter even. She was more upbeat than normal, her skin was glowing and she just looked happy and healthy.....and then she just started talking and talking about Marie Kondo's book. Now, I don't know what other changes she has made in her life recently, but just her general lightness made me associate some of the change with her getting rid of clutter. She told me how they had completely redone their closets - they had a lot less clothes and a lot more room which they were renovating into an office and a nicer closet. 

Anyway, it's hard to do away with everything and old habits, but I have been more conscious lately about what I keep. I've been better about just throwing things away and I feel more productive overall. So let that clutter go! Clean out the junk drawer or under the bathroom sinks. Find a way to store your receipts. Organize your journal articles and books. You will be a more effective clinician and professional; you will be able to get ready faster in the morning; you will be a better student; and you will be a more organized parent.

WellnessJoanna Simmon