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What's so bad about clutter?

For one family, getting rid of clutter is way overrated.

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Strange coincidences have been cropping up in my life lately. It seems that everywhere I go – to the supermarket, the dentist's office, the hair salon – magazines and newspapers catch my eye, and all have one thing in common: They carry articles that address the problem of clutter. Is some benign hand trying to tell me something?

I look around my comfortable, only moderately cluttered home and wonder. I realize that, when we're expecting guests, we do need more than just a bit of time to tidy up. But isn't that what home is all about – to have that lived-in décor, that casual je ne sais quoi? It's a look that takes time and experience to get just right. A little laziness also helps.

Is everyone really that concerned with clutter these days? Surely the international situation, to say nothing of the interminable grandstanding in the months before our next presidential election, must be higher on the worry meter than clutter.

But just for fun, I entered "clutter" into an Internet search engine only to find that the fervor generated by this subject is far worse than I ever imagined.

The first page listed 17 websites/references with clutter-busting secrets. There were 10 more pages to follow. Fascinated, I journeyed onward.

But the 10th page wasn't the end. It went on ... and on ... and on. When I reached page 50, I realized that "clutter" was destined to continue to infinity. All the sites had but one thing in mind: the desire to unclutter me – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I'd never known I was such a mess!

Some promised quick clutter control and 10 tips or 15 steps toward that laudable goal. Others warned of "clutter zones" and gave the lowdown on living the low-clutter life. Still more advised how to unclutter my kids, my closets, my home, my computer, even my body and mind.

One hapless blogger moaned about the Clutter Police – her friends – who were plying her with books on organizing and offering their expertise with her sock drawers, kitchen cabinets, and bookshelves.

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