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  • Kathryn Patterson

The Queen of Aspirational Clutter

Earlier this year, a very dear friend of mine bought me a copy of "The Happiness Project", with admonitions to read the book.  Since I'm not one to waste a good book, I began reading it right away, and feel in love with both the book and the author.  I related to her need for gold stars, her need to be in control, but mostly to her need to find more happiness in her life. I loved the book so much I took it on a trip, packing it away carefully in a seldom used pocket of my luggage.  To my credit, the book survived just fine.  Unfortunately, because I seldom use the pocket, I never retrieved the book from my luggage.  I searched the house frantically all summer, then finally found it again after a trip to New York this August. *Happy Dance!* Since I had not finished the book this spring, I decided to start over.  So I turned to page 1 and began "The Happiness Project" all over again.  For those who haven't read the book, the author, Gretchen Rubin, sets out goals for her Happiness Project each month.  In January, she wanted to get more energy out of life.  Part of getting energy required she get rid of the clutter in her home and life.  Freebie clutter, nostalgic clutter, bargain clutter, and buyer's remorse clutter - Rubin discusses these types of clutter.  I recognized these, and I do  have some of each type.  But when she mentioned aspirational clutter,  I felt like a herd of hippopotamuses in tutus pirouetted me into the floor.   Because this time, the section on clutter hit home. Why? Because I feel like the Queen of Aspirational Clutter!!! I have an entire art cabinet filled with so many different objects I've save "because I could make something with it" that the contents of the art cabinet have spilled out, into a second, smaller art cabinet, and all over the surrounding floor.  I have at least six types of paper, a carousel of scissors that each cut a different pattern in paper, three packages of quality markers, two easels, three types of paint in about 36 colors, four kinds of paint brushes, buttons, beans, glitter, glitter glue, white glue, Alene's glue, fabric, golf balls,...  You get the picture.  And don't even ask about yarn.  While I do crochet, at the moment I have so much yarn that I inevitably end up buying even more yarn for a project because I can't find what I want in the pile. Quite frankly, it's ridiculous. After reading that chapter, I realized two things.

  1. It's high time I sorted through all of it, disposing of the vast majority.

  2. I want to start my own Happiness Project.  

So this weekend, I set aside a block of time on Saturday morning.  I will clean out the art cabinet and my stash of yarn.  Wish me luck, because as a clutter queen, I'll need it.

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