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I have been tidying like crazy and the time I’m not tidying, I’m doing important things or reading about tidying.


Did you know that you use about 20% of your possessions about 80% of the time?  That means you could get rid of a all your things except a fifth, and not really notice much of a difference.  I mean, you would notice the lack of clutter, but you probably wouldn’t miss any of it.

That seems pretty crazy.  But, at least to me, it’s totally believable.  A lot of us keep so much stuff on hand, though we hardly use any of it!  Think back to the stone age.  All you would have had, would be the bare necessities.  One, maybe two sets of clothes- all you needed could be carried on your back.  WOW!  These days we’d be lucky if our stuff would fit in two truckloads!

By all that, I don’t mean that everyone has that much stuff, or that it’s a sin to have a lot of things.  Everyone is different.  I might be able to get by with five or so long sleeved shirts and four pairs of shoes.  But someone with a different lifestyle or different age, might need only two long sleeved shirts or might need ten or more pairs of shoes.  It all depends on what you need.


My dad is rather messy.  It’s hard for my mom and I to get him to take care of his clothes (they lounge all over the floor).  That’s just him.  My mom and I are very neat people.  His messiness annoys us, and our neatness annoys him.  That’s just our needs and personality differences.

Some people love living in a rather “messy” house, while others want every surface to be bare.  You don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable.  Just try it for a while and if you don’t like having a barer living space, that’s fine.  You know what’s best for you.

Another great thing about tidying is that it’s easier to clean when you have less stuff.  I asked my mom what her goals for her bedroom are and she said “dust free.”  Then said “less brick brack.”  I told her that once you have less brick brack, it’s easier to dust, since you don’t have to pick up a million little decorations to to get at the surface.  You don’t have to dust all those decorations either.  Once you get rid of things, cleaning is so much easier.

Maintenance is, of course, kind of hard, but if you do a bit everyday, like a ten minute pick up of your things every evening, then your surfaces stay tidy.  You also have to keep unnecessary things from coming in, like gifts.  Those are hard.  It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.  Let me say that again: It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.  You can keep that little bag of candy or that wrapped up necklace that you’d never wear, from getting comfortable.  Pass it on to another person who would enjoy it much more.  Don’t feel guilty.  The giver wouldn’t want the gift to sit around gathering dust.

I think that maintenance is a small price to pay for having a tidy home.