the chicken or the egg

TriciaDecember 14, 2011

Is my house cluttered because I am easily distracted or am I easily distracted because my house is cluttered?

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LuAnn_in_PA

I don't think distracted has anything to do with it.

If you have a place to put things, put them there.
If you don't have a place, either find one or get rid of the thing.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Is my house cluttered because I am easily distracted or am I easily distracted because my house is cluttered?
What wonderful food for thought! Imho, my house is cluttered, to a large degree, because I am easily distracted, and often quit doing something, because I just start doing something else, maybe more interesting, or that needs done more than what I am working on. I'm thinking one of the biggest problems is that I just don't pick up like I should behind myself. Think of children that drag out a lot of their toys and then not being taught to put them all away when they are finished playing.

I am easily distracted by the clutter left behind from things either unfinished, or that just didn't get put away.

I'm practicing at keeping a cleaned cleared area, all clean and clear by not allowing any clutter to start. So far, I'm 'mastering' keeping 3 kitchen counters all clean and clear. It sounds small, but it is a start.

The coffee table is another bad spot that seems to collect a lot of clutter. Once it is all cleaned and shined, I'll be trying to 'master' keeping it all cleaned off, and etc.

They (I don't know who 'they' are though) say that it only takes 21 days to get used to something or to change a taste or a habit. Example...if you make your bed 21 days in a row, shortly after getting up each morning, it will then become a habit. Painless, huh?

Sue

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 1:59PM
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jannie

I saw a news show on decluttering. They suggested you do a quick-pickup of the entire house once a day, mainly throwing out obvious trash and returning toys, belongings to the room where they belong. This should take about 30 minutes. In bedrooms, make beds, it will instantly look orderly. And declutter in small spurts. Don't pull everything out of a closet intending to organize it. Do a little, focus on the process, not the final finished product. Your house didn't get cluttered in one day, and it will take more than a day to declutter. Good advice. I wish I could follow it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 10:18AM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

It is chickens AND eggs, in that whichever one starts , it can spiral into a vicious cycle. Perhaps it requires one to have a genetic or acquired tendency to get there-- clearly some or many people aren't so afflicted at all. But if I get too cluttered, which maybe I let happen because I got distracted, then I get fatigued and overwhelmed and have a hard time getting back on track. LuAnn is right about really working hard to have a place for everything , and as many clutter experts have advised, the places can't always be just any place but need to be convenient and simple to make more effortless to do.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Tricia

Today the reality is it doesn't matter which comes first to change it requires action. "Do or do not there is no try" ~ Yoda

I feel similar to Frankie in this: "if I get too cluttered, which maybe I let happen because I got distracted, then I get fatigued and overwhelmed and have a hard time getting back on track".

Overwhelmed is the correct word and comes first then it causes mental fatigue and further enhances the inability to focus. Feels like drowning in stuff at the moment. So I must force myself to act on it at least 15 minutes to start chipping away at it. Surely I can focus for 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 8:49AM
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leafy02

The people I know IRL who struggle the most with having cluttered/out of control houses are indeed easily distracted.

I think that the highly distractible mind is the start of the problem, because I've seen cases when others have intervened and gotten rid of/organized the clutter for them, and it was only a matter of days/weeks before it reverted right back to being cluttery.

Even though there was a place for everything, they aren't successful at putting it away. Or, the sight of a clear surface prompted them to buy more stuff to fill up the space.

It's interesting to me that people seem to have different "clutter" thermostats that the amount of stuff seems to return to whenever it has been disrupted (by a big purge, or a move, or whatever).

To me, my house is leaning toward cluttered. To my mother, my house is well past cluttered and moving toward chaos. To many other people who've visited and made comments, my house seems spare or even barren. But looking back at photos over the past 20 years, I can see that even though we've added four family members and a half dozen pets, etc., my house has pretty much the same amount of visible "stuff" that it did when I lived alone. That's where my clutter thermostat is set, I guess.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Tricia

Leafy02, very interesting observations.

I have to agree there is generally a place for everything in my house but it doesn't always seem to make it back to its place (in a timely manner).

Adding to the overwhelming feeling is we have been doing some renovation to the house so lots of things are not where they belong. I am hoping getting these projects finished will help with focus in general.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 6:10PM
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mommabird

I think it's both. Clutter overwhelms me - too much visual clutter makes me feel hopeless and distracts me. I've even just dumped it all in boxes before just to have it out of sight, then gone back later while watching TV and sorted out the boxes.

The more distracted I am by the clutter, the worse it gets.

I had things in control for a while but the past week it's gotten out of control again. I am free this evening so I'm going to 1. gather everything up that's out of place and 2. put it back in the place it belongs and 3. sort out to throw away and donate while I'm doing 1 & 2.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 6:41PM
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jannie

Clutter is not only duistracting, it actually makes me nervous. I feel very relaxed in a clean,open space. I will actually invent "errands" to get out of my house away from the clutter.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:23AM
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