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Mental Clutter Overwhelms Week 8 (Decluttering and Simplifying 2010)

by Gip Plaster on January 30th, 2010

I’ve been trying to figure out how to justify or at least explain my lack of progress for Week 8 of this grand simplification project, and it just came to mind.

Mental clutter overwhelmed this week, making this aspiring minimalist’s progress toward a clutterless life quite minimal. (What a sentence, huh?)

There’s no other explanation for it, however. A few strange things happened this week that made my cluttered mind spend more time wandering that it should have. You could say I was a bit depressed this week — or perhaps “preoccupied” is a better word.

Here’s an explanation of one thing that happened this week: While we were out in David’s car on Wednesday, it began making a scratching sound that ultimately left us beside the road unable to continue. We were stranded in a familar neighborhood, though, and my mother was already in the car, so she was able to come rescue us quickly while a towing company took the car away to our favorite repair shop. (It was the timing belt, they think, but of course, there will be other damage. That’s not the point of this story, however.) That incident, combined with the fact that our remaining car is a recalled Toyota Camry, made me realize that we need to rethink our car situation completely. Mine is too large and may have a dangerous defect; his is having more problems recently and is nearing the end of its lifespan anyway.

And here’s what my mind did with that situation: The car problems got me thinking about the signs of a downturn in my book business, the work that needs done on our house and property, the taxes that will soon be due — and all the work I must do to sort out each of these situations. That piling of existing problems atop the newest ones is called spiraling. Although I didn’t spiral out of control emotionally this week, I didn’t do as well as I could have. I was at home more than usual this week and had less work than usual to do on my book business, so I could have accomplished a lot, but I didn’t.

I spent more time thinking than doing this week.

This week, I’m grateful for no negative progress on the house decluttering — that is, no new clutter — and that I got a box of junk and some empty storage containers delivered to the Goodwill store. I’m also grateful that I’m blogging about this experience each week. It keeps me accountable.

I can say this: I’m looking forward to next week and the potential it brings.

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