Friday Free-For-All – Clutter/DeClutter

Welcome to another Friday post!

I walked into my office the other day and stopped dead in my tracks. It was a MESS!!!

Photos by Jan Sikes

That’s ridiculous! It was time to do something about it. I stay so busy and go in such a fast run all the time, cleaning and organizing get pushed to the bottom of my list, as is obvious by these photos.

According to Psychology Today, clutter causes stress in part because of its excessive visual stimuli. It also signals to our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Wow! Can I ever relate to the part about my work never being done. It is overwhelming to constantly feel as if you are on a hamster wheel, running but never getting anywhere. And yes, then there’s the guilt about never making enough progress.

So, what exactly constitutes clutter? According to The Very Well Mind, The word clutter refers to items that are strewn about in a disorganized fashion. Well, that fits my situation. Things were strewn about and totally disorganized. They go on to say, In general, clutter is a collection of items that people accumulate in their homes and don’t necessarily use, but hold on to anyway. They also state, someone with perfectionist tendencies is likely to be more stressed out by clutter.

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist. If I ever did, I gave up on it long ago, as nothing is ever perfect. But I do have a touch of OCD. Okay. Maybe more than a touch. I obsess over things until they are finished. That’s a good quality for an author to have, right?

Back to the clutter. I decided it was high time I shut everything down and cleaned up. Heck, I had receipts from four months ago that needed to be processed, and that’s just one tiny part of it.

So, I put on music, which is my favorite thing to do when I clean, and got busy. A couple of hours later things looked totally different.

Ahhhh, much better.

Now I could go to work and be productive!

What about you? Does clutter bother you or are you one of those people who keep everything organized and never let it get cluttered? Let’s talk. Maybe you have some wisdom to share.

50 thoughts on “Friday Free-For-All – Clutter/DeClutter

    1. It’s so interesting how we are all different. I can stand the clutter for a while, then I have to do something. 🙂 But many, like you, thrive amidst the clutter. I love our diversities! Thanks for chiming in, Joy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We are all different, Jacqui, and many people need what I would consider disorder or clutter to thrive. It doesn’t work for me. I am so much more productive and relaxed in an orderly environment. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I wish I was better about keeping my areas neater and better organized. I had the same experience when I taught. It seemed like there was always something more important to attend to. The way it usually plays out is I get frustrated when I can’t find something, and that’s when the decluttering happens. Not a great approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes! No closets would be a big problem for me. The closet in my office is the junk closet. 🙂 It’s where I keep things like bookmarks, parcel mailers, and such. Thank goodness I have it! Good luck with what you do, Diana! Glad I could inspire you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jan, I am very orderly everywhere except my desk. Even my computer is orderly and I create lots of sub-folders for everything so I can find stuff quickly. My colleague was surprised when she saw my computer organisation the other day. BUT, my desk, oh what a mess it is. Never mind, I like the books scattered everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, Robbie. I love that you have your computer so organized, but that is your biggest work tool, so makes sense. I laughed that you have clutter on your desk. That surprised me. I see you as super organized and efficient as you get so much done all the time. Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. I like to think of it as organized chaos. I’m OCD too and love organization! I’m not fantastic at it but when I get in the mood, I enjoy decluttering areas of the house. At least I know where most things are. 😉 Also, I love how you have quotes posted to your walls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Mar. It’s interesting to me the different things people are noticing in my work space. I love the quotes and look at them daily. They help give me inspiration. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ever since my daughter left for college, I’ve been decluttering the house. It’s an interesting exercise, especially when the house becomes a metaphor for the body. There’s a lot that can be stirred up and released…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true, Alethea. Everything is connected. As we declutter our physical space, we are also working on a cellular level inside. It’s a therapeutic process. Thank you for sharing today! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I call myself a pile person. When I put things away so I know where they are…Later I can’t find them lol. I clean often and go right back to my piles to get to. Bit by bit I do get rid of stuff no longer serving me but have accepted my pile tendencies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Denise. Rick was a pile person. And he didn’t want me messing with his piles because he knew exactly what was in each one. I have put things away then not remembered where I put them. It’s frustrating, but then out of the blue, like a lightbulb turning on, I’ll remember. I think we all accumulate too much and it’s freeing to scale it down. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

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  6. Clutter drives me crazy! I simply can’t stand it. I wouldn’t say that I OCD exactly it’s just a need for neatness and order. However I did have this thing about wrinkles!! Ha! Love you, Sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were always so good at keeping your side of the bedroom neat when we were kids. I remember many times you’d fuss at me until I straightened up my side. I definitely have a touch of OCD in me that has increased with age. 🙂 And yes, you do have a thing about wrinkles in the bed sheets. Thanks for stopping by. Love you!!

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  7. I’m with you on clutter. I have an office that I hardly use so it is totally free of clutter. I like clean lines with some sense of artistry. You do have a lot going on so I wasn’t surprised by the “before”shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, yes! I don’t like clutter! I consider clutter similar to chaos. Both don’t work well for me. At the end of the day, I’m always putting everything away. And I’m a weekly cleaner. I do a through cleaning of my work space, too. For me, this helps to clear any cobwebs in my writing. I can’t explain my process but cleaning/organizing puts me back on a creative focus. It’s one of my quirks. 😉

    Do I see some rocks on your desk, Jan? Crystals? I love this! I have rocks I’ve collected from my travels tucked in nooks within my writing desk, along with a bowl of crystals. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Yes, Mary, I have stones on my desk. 🙂 In front of the monitor, I have a couple of Picasso jaspers, a Calligraphy stone, Sodalite, and Shungite. Then to the right, I have a Mookite, Silver Jasper, Amazonite, Aventurine, and Leopard Jasper. 🙂 That’s not counting the seashells. I do love my stones. I love that you keep your work area clean daily. That is always a goal for me. But with my schedule, often when I get home at night, I’m too exhausted to care. I can see you being a very organized person and that cleaning puts you in a creative focus. I love that! Thank you for stopping by and adding to the conversation!

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  9. You’ve inspired me, Jan! Normally, my office is somewhat clear of clutter, but lately I’ve allowed things to pile up. Yes, I make piles. When that happens, I become non-productive. Thanks for the tour! I always like to sneak a peek at writer’s office space. I see those Thesaurus books! That looks like my shelf. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, Jill. When I have too many piles, I get overwhelmed. And then I get less productive. I agree with the studies that say clutter causes stress because you feel like you never make any progress. It felt so good to get my office organized and cleaned up. And I’ve had a productive week! I always like seeing other authors’ workspaces, too. And yes. I keep those reference books at my fingertips. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Like you, I have a bit of OCD. It may not be clutter, but when I get something on my mind, I have to get it done before I concentrate on writing. For instance, this week I “had” to get the SE schedule done for next year.

    We’ve been slowly organizing our house and decluttering (there’s a lot to go). My next thing is to tackle a file cabinet. There are so many things that will need shredding, we’re going to take it to a company that does secure shredding. Right now, the cabinet is out of sight, but not out of mind. I have a feeling that the day is coming soon that I “must” clean it out.

    Your reorganized office looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. When you live in a place for a long time, things accumulate. And when you work full time, there is never the right day to tackle huge organizing and cleaning-out projects. I had to get rid of a ton of stuff when I moved from our place in Coleman. And each time I’ve moved, I’ve shed some things. Not that I’m suggesting moving. 🙂 Good luck cleaning out the file cabinet. Maybe you’ll find some forgotten treasures. Thank you for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I keep clutter to a minimum and everything has a place to live … even more so now I find myself confined to the wheelchair more and more of the time. Finding things quickly, easily, and within reach is more important than ever. Pity DH and my once-weekly cleaner don’t have the same neatness traits! The two of them drive me nuts at times, Lols 😂 . Nice tidying, Jan! Have a wonderful weekend 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, Harmony. Men tend to be less conscious of clutter than women. But for your weekly cleaner not to have the tidy trait seems out of character. Perhaps she’s in the wrong business. I totally understand the need to have things in their place and easily reachable due to the wheelchair confines. My late husband spent a good deal of time organizing and rearranging for that same reason. Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!

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  12. My home is clear of clutter — except for my desk. As often as I organize it, somehow it collects tidbits and bills and lists and munchies and whatever. 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting, Craig. Clutter doesn’t bother some folks in the least. I just shared with Staci in my response to her comment that my youngest daughter is a classic example. I failed to share that she is a highly regarded corporate attorney. So clutter does not hinder success! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Clutter drives me nuts. When I lived alone, everything was always in its place. Now that my son and I are together, I’ve been (painfully) reminded that he didn’t get that trait from me. We’re working on finding a balance that doesn’t stress me out too much.

    Glad you got your office sorted out, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My youngest daughter is the worst, Staci. I had to live with them for a couple of years, and I wore myself out following behind her and picking up, closing cabinet doors, putting food in the fridge, and sorting through the constant laundry. So, she got none of my OCD about things. It doesn’t bother her in the least to live in clutter. I can only take it so long. Hope you and Seth figure out a balance. It’s a challenge for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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