Over on Unclutter, Erin Doland recently defined clutter this way:
Clutter is any distraction that gets in the way of a remarkable life. Clutter doesn’t have to be physical — you can have time clutter or mental clutter or even bad processes that qualify as clutter.And a commenter, identified only as shris, writes:
For me, clutter isn’t about distraction but what you feel, say, or think when you actually *look* at it.This inspired me to look at how other define clutter; here are some of the best perspectives I found.
If you make a face or grit your teeth or purse your lips, or your mental noise is ‘ugh’ or ‘grr’ or ‘feh’ or ‘ew’, then it’s clutter whether it serves a purpose or not.
In her wonderful book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston writes:
In my definition there are four categories of clutter:In The Clutter-Busting Handbook, Rita Emmett writes:
* Things you do not use or love
* Things that are untidy or disorganized
* Too many things in too small a space
* Anything unfinished
I think stuff becomes clutter when:In Unclutter Your Life, Katherine Gibson defines a number of types of clutter:
* It creates problems, stress, or embarrassment.
* You don't know what you have or can't find what you have.
* It keeps you from using an area, place, or thing for its intended purpose.
* It impairs your ability to function.
Physical Clutter: The possessions in our world that do not have a purpose, do not reflect who we our, and do not enhance our lives aesthetically or spiritually.In Clutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett, I didn't find a definition of clutter - but here's Don's definition of junk:
Mental Clutter: Expectations, distractions, and obligations that affect our peace of mind.
Emotional Clutter: Unfulfilling activities and the self-defeating thoughts and feelings that keep us from our highest potential.
It is junk if:And finally, let me leave you with some definitions from Debbie Stanley's excellent book, Organize Your Home in No Time:
* It's broken of obsolete (and fixing it is unrealistic).
* You've outgrown it, physically or emotionally.
* You've always hated it.
* It's the wrong size, wrong color, or wrong style.
* Using it is more bother than it's worth.
* It wouldn't really affect you if you never saw it again.
* It generates bad feelings.
* You have to clean it, store it, and insure it (but you don't get much use or enjoyment out of it).
* It will shock, bore, or burden the coming generation.
Does the object do a job for you? If so, it's essential; if not, it's clutter.And here's another definition from Debbie:
Now, that job could be to help you brush your teeth (the toothbrush in the stand on the counter), it could be to give you something beautiful to look at (the pictures on the wall), or it could be to make you feel good by bringing back a happy memory (that little jar of sand labeled Beachfront Property.)
Clutter = homeless items = unmade decisions.
Clearing Clutter: Beyond the Stuff