At the Clutter Busting workshop on Friday evening, one of the participants brought in a big wicker basket of paper clutter. She said they were papers that she wasn't able to get to. She kept the basket on her kitchen counter. She got the basket to help her organize. She had a number of other piles like it around the house.
We started going through the papers. There were bills that she had already paid. Some of the papers were notes that she had written to herself that she no longer needed. There were flyers for events that had expired. There were a few relevant papers that she needed to take care of. She said she felt it was okay to have the piles of papers because to take care of them took up too much time and she wanted to use her time doing other things. Some of the other participants agreed and said they do the same thing
I pointed out that the presence of the papers agitated her. As she was going through them in front of the group, it made her feel restless and irritable. She looked pale and tired. I said that even when she is not going through the papers, they have a negative effect on her. Clutter affects people even if it's not in front of them. Even if it's in a basket, or a drawer, or in the closet, garage or under the bed. We get used to the chaotic and lethargic effect that clutter has on us and it feels normal. But it does have a toxic presence. It negatively influences our peace of mind. It exhausts us. If we live with family members, it disrupts our connection. It seems like it takes away from your day to resolve the paper clutter situation, but when approached and taken care of, it gives you greater clarity and well being. You feel good in your living space and this has a positive effect on everything you do. You're much more effective in your day. You basically get your full self back.