Ok, I confess. I watched 40 minutes of Oprah while I was on my elliptical at home last Thursday. It was all about being the best "you" that you can be. They had a guy on there talk about personal health. Some guy talked about fashion tips and tricks. Yeah... I ignored most of that.... but this one guy completely sucked me in. His name was Peter Walsh... and he's some kind of space management guru or something.
Anyway, he helped this "normal" American family clean up their home. His motto was "clutter is defined as random stuff on flat spaces". He said flat spaces were the battle ground and that the largest flat space in any house was the floor. This completely made sense to me. My family can walk in from church or soccer and in a matter of 60 seconds, completely destroy a house by cluttering up every flat space within eye shot.
It's truly amazing. We could win an award.
The longer I ran and listened to this guy, the faster my pace and the more extreme my mental note taking became. This made TONS OF SENSE to me. Then he said the kicker. He said that no matter where he does this clean up routine. No matter what country or what size the home. If the home has young children, then there is one universal response of all kids when they walk into a previously cluttered space that is now clean.
Do you know what they do?
THEY DANCE! They all DANCE. He said, "We can learn a lot from that." I almost had to stop running to process this because I LOVED THAT IMAGE so much. He went on to say what we all know, and that is that "stuff does not bring us joy. Simplicity and freedom from stuff does."
So, right then and there I decided to add this to my new years resolution list. "I'm declaring war on flat spaces in my life."
- Today, with some help from my family, I gutted our kitchen, cleared off all the counter tops, literally emptied every single cabinet, and then got rid of everything we did not use. It felt great. I danced.
- I vowed to refuse to be lazy about setting stuff down on flat spaces like the floor, desks, counters, tables, shelves.... you name it.
- I'm going all out. One room at a time.
- I think my soul can easily become a giant flat space. It's super easy to clutter up my life with too much stuff. I can casually let others dump extra responsibility on me or to take on stuff I should not. Before I know it, my life and soul are cluttered, confused, and have no idea what way is up.
- I will not let my inner life become one giant flat space dumping ground either.
- Maybe this is a huge illustrative stretch, but it made such sense to me that I'm declaring war on flat spaces in my soul too. I want to be clutter free. I need to be clutter free. Both inside and out.