The End of Excess

Time magazine's cover story this week says, "The End of Excess". There were some good quotes that sum up clutter busting.

"We are making the periodic shift from an unfettered zeal for individual getting and spending to a rediscovery of the common good"

"The new America of the 2010s and beyond will be the result of transformed sensibility, changes in our understanding of what's important and sensible and attractive, and what feels hollow or silly or nuts."

When I sit with my clients and go through their stuff they discover that a lot of what they have in their living space is basically excess: things that are unimportant to them. It is sobering.

Yesterday I worked with a client in her living room. I asked her about a big desk that was littered with a multitude of things. When something is covered like that it's a clutter red flag. I asked if she used the desk. She admitted she didn't. There was embarrassment and relief in her confession. We went through the papers, notebooks, books and miscellaneous items on and in the desk. Most was stuff that meant something to her in the late 80's and early 90's. As a whole they had given her some kind of comfort. But with an honest inventory they lost their importance. She was amazed that she kept them. She naturally tossed the excess, including the desk.