Words of Wisdom About…Clutter?! Why Not?

I love collecting quotes. Usually I collect quotes about the things that interest me most–travel, writing, reading, France, Hawaii, Cuba. Sometimes about the universally important things in life–love, marriage, birth, death, sorrow, joy.

But it had never occurred to me before today to look for inspiring or helpful quotes for people who are contemplating, or in the middle of, trying to trim down the amount of accumulated objects in their homes. Or for those who might be trying to maintain a hard-won battle against the ever-present Demon Clutter.

Today I decided to see what words of wisdom I could find that might be of some help to people in this situation.

Here are a few quotes I found that I like:

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris

This one is a little extreme for a “keeper” like me. Still, I think it bears thinking about. And I think there is some “wiggle-room” in the fact that Morris says you can keep things that you “believe” to be beautiful. (Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder!)

“Clutter is stuck energy. The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.” Karen Kingston

I find that one just plain interesting.

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” Wendell Berry

This one is funny in a gallows-humor kind of way. But I’ll bet I’m not the only one who will crack a rueful smile over it.

“If you look at your entire house as one unit of junk, you’ll never do anything because the job is too overwhelming. Take it one drawer at a time.”  Janet Luhrs

This certainly is in tune with some of the advice we gave readers in our book.

How about you? Do you have any favorite quotes, mottos, or sayings that help inspire you roll up your sleeves and get started with getting rid of clutter? Or to stay with the job when it’s most tempting to quit?

If you do, I hope you’ll share them with us by commenting on this post. We’ll be sure to share your responses with our readers.

JH

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3 Responses

  1. Perhaps for the sake of decluttering, we should make William Morris’s brilliant quote to read (my caps):

    If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful AND believe to be beautiful.

    That way everything we choose to keep in our homes satisfies both purpose and aesthetics.

  2. I’m a big collector of jargon and sometimes stumble upon a few words, though not necessarily related to home organization, resonates nonetheless.
    “The older you get, the more valuable your time”… by anonymous “When you know better you do better”… by Star Jones

    Home Organizer
    http://www.sectionbysection.com
    Manhattan and Long Island

  3. […] Since writing about downsizing, I’ve gathered quotes about clutter. My coauthor shared some of her favorites in an earlier post. […]

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