I had the pleasure of reading something a friend of mine sent and it inspired me to write which always feels great.  It was about “Clutter Limits” as he termed it.  What we will tolerate in life when it comes to clutter.  He referenced the amount of dishes we leave in the sink before we clean them, the things in our car, our surroundings and the physical things.  I got to thinking about this in terms of life.  To begin with I have a no dish left in the sink rule but will tolerate a cup or two.  I generally have nothing in my car except a few extra blankets, hiking shoes and my shopping bags (which I generally forget when shopping).  Right now I am in the height of clutter as today I get new wood flooring in parts of my house so my studio and dining room are in my living room:

This is manageable/planned clutter because I have an start and end date and get new flooring.  This was also the chance to de-clutter as I put back.  This follows a trip of being gone a week so this was also tiring clutter but got unpacked and did all my laundry in the meantime so again I am a physically low-clutter person.  That was how I was raised too.

This got me thinking about personal relationships and unplanned clutter in life.  In our 20’s we have friends, drama, dating, life that our clutter level is higher.  There is chaos in that and time for it.  As we age that limit decreases.  I have always said that sometimes things need to fall apart to fall back together as they should. You learn lessons,  you temper a bit and I have I also have a low level for clutter surrounding me.  I have the “easy peasey, light and squeezey” attitude with my friends, kids, family and more.  I am always telling my kids to “do you”.  Take care of you and do not worry about what is best for others (not be selfish but selfless path).  Take care of you before you can take care of others.  I hear the drama of our teens and am thankful that in life I want none of that.  I don’t want the clutter.  If there is an issue, I address it, don’t want to carry it on (or as some of my friends say I am too honest) but to quote another dear friend I want it “done and dusted”.  Life is too darn short for that kind of clutter.  I care so deeply about those around me and in fact last year some things fell apart to fall back together and my clutter cleaner friends were by my side.  The 40’s are amazing for that.  I spoke to some senior ladies this past week who let me know the 50’s and 60’s are even better.

I equate this all to a computer.  When the hard drive gets cluttered (as mine is right now) it runs slow, limits you and drags you down.  Life does not need to be that way.  Things don’t happen over night and little by little you figure out the things that you do not need in order to get back up and running.  Things are just that………things.  You may need less then you think.  Think of the people around you and what they add or in some cases drag you down when you get caught up in things.  We are all guilty of this.  We need to be there for our friends but the one who add clutter and just seem to attract the drama are kept at a distance.  We all have those times we need one another and the clutter is crazy.  But we work through it an don’t invite it back in.

In this past  year of travel, life and more I see the value of keeping my clutter limits in check and knowing that at times it will be higher and I need to go with the flow and not fight it or control it.  I don’t have that control.  Times in life will be full of clutter you may not want (unplanned clutter).  But it may be leading to a much better place.  I keep my focus on the things that matter……family first, me (yes I put me in there) and then the rest.  One year ago I was in Oklahoma and there was clutter…………..this year there was reflecting ponds, new friends and even new cowboy boots.

I am thankful for the times that it seemed the clutter would win but even more thankful for my ability to tackle it and the friends/support who would not let me.  There are too many to list.  Life is better when you know you cannot do it all.  You do need help.  May I be the same for others.  Life is too short to not let things go instead of hanging on to all of it.  So the dishes stack up, the studio is in the living room, etc.  Those are just things.  What is the clutter in your life…..planned or unplanned?  Is it time to clean a closet or two?  What needs your attention and what does not?  Is it time to visit a reflection pond or find a new adventure or focus?  Who is around you to support you and give you a hand?

Thanks for the inspiration to write and un-clutter my brain a bit.  Time to get new floors and get the kids off to school.

There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion.  Know the difference.  Life is too short.  Invest in the activities (and relationships) you deeply care about.  Value what you give your energy to.  Focus on what matters and let go of what does not.”