I’ve been on a mission to reduce clutter in our house lately, thanks to reading Organized Simplicity (another book born out of a blog, Simple Mom), Simplicity Parenting (a book which now has a blog), The Happiness Project (a book which spawned a blog as it was being written) and the more extreme The Minimalists (a blog which launched an e-book).
If you were to come and visit our house, you’d know that we don’t have a cluttered house (the garage however…). I like minimalism but definitely not to the point of starkness. However, things naturally build up over time without a regular assessment and clean out. I went through my wardrobe and drawers in a series of rounds (it got easier to let go of sentimental pieces) and donated a very big stack of clothes I hadn’t worn in ages – some as many as 12 years ago!
It felt great to do a big clean out, but more importantly, it is actually helping me make every day a little bit easier:
By reducing the apparent options available, my actual choices became less stressful and quicker to make.
On the whole, it doesn’t seem like too much to have to hunt around for a few moments to find what you’re looking for in a drawer or closet, but that little bit of time is reduced when there’s less to rummage through.
Research shows that people get overwhelmed and stressed by too many choices and end up making impulse decisions.
I’ve been pondering also about online clutter and how it can create stressful situations and increase the time it takes to complete a simple task. Do people end up just clicking on something (the “Back” button?) just to get out of there and go back to the familiar? Do they randomly click on a link and hope it shows what they want because they’re just so overwhelmed?
Are we enticed by the idea of providing lots of choices, but forget the time and stress cost of the associated decision making?
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