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More from Peter Walsh on clutter, quality of life

Oprah's Clutter Man: "It's Never About the Stuff"

Clean Sweep's Peter Walsh (previously) has a new book out, and Mediabistro had the chance to chat with him while he was out promoting it.

While I wish Peter had held out for a more cromulent title ("Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" Ouch.), I so admire this guy's grip on what clutter does to your mind. Or at least what it does to mine.

Typically swell quote:

Our show was never about the stuff. I told the producers early on that you can only organize so many closets and garages before people lose their minds... We all have stuff. What we had to do was tell people's stories through their stuff, and see them realizing what their relationship to the stuff had become.

and, later:

What is your vision for the life you want to live, and do your life choices reflect that vision? Specifically: Is your home a space for the life you want?

Ours is a culture based on the idea that whenever you run out of space, you should just pull up stakes and move five miles west. Then you can be happy. Is it any wonder that we seek organization rather than deletion as the solution to an overwhelming problem? Yeah, I think this goes well beyond not being able to find a business card in your junk drawer.

Capacity is only worth building when it'll be used in the service of stuff you really want. Whether that's calendar events, your Fabergé eggs, or those crusty Lean Cuisine plates from last summer, the quality of matter that you allow to stay anywhere in your life eventually starts rubbing off on everything it touches.

deanj's picture

Being Green and Ebay

I've seen people with houses jammed full of stuff that they'll sell on ebay "one day." It's a good story but you need to have an ebay account, right? It's not going to sell itself.

I've been trapped by the ecological disposal of my crap dilemma too. Trick is that the hard part is accepting that the damage has already been done: I bought something that I no longer need. Don't let something inconvenient to sell or recycle hang around another year, some of it is going into a landfill. Next time buy something with a better lifespan or even better don't buy it next time.

I'm going to look for a friends of the library right now; I have boxes of books for them.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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