Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Clutter Starts

You've seen it before, or maybe even experienced it. Something new comes into your home or office. You don't have time to deal with it straight away, so you put it down in that place where "things that don't have a home go." Over the next week, the item either gets left where it was first put, or it is moved around a few times. In any case, it gathers a little dust. The item is moved out of the way, but not put away. It gathers a little more dust. Another item joins it. And another. They gather dust together.

Depending on how many items are moved out to the way rather than put away, you could end up with a little pile on your desk, a little pile on the counter, a little pile in the corner of the bedroom, and so on. Or you could end up with piles everywhere. If you don't or can't put things away, you may end up with a house or office full of "stuff."

In the extreme case, food scraps will be left, dirty dishes will accumulate, vermin will move in, and, pretty soon, you'll have to move out.

The Hoarding Scale

What's the effect of the accumulation of clutter? In the extreme case, there are obvious hygiene and health issues. Large amounts of clutter simply cannot be cleaned around. The are also usually fire hazards and falling hazards, especially for older people. The National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization...
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