Thanks to crossed wires last week, you got a double dose on Monday -- my dubious writing advice, and Michael A. Black's great post on Clutter.
We decided that we'd even it all out with a clutter post from me. Besides, I'm the anti-Mike when it comes to clutter—he was first known for cleaning it up; I'm known for generating it faster than any fixer.
Here's a good example:
I received a letter from a former publisher. They'd found the foul matter for an old book I did for them.
For those who haven't had the pleasure: "foul matter" is the term for material such as early draft manuscripts, galleys, or proofs that have been superseded by advanced galleys or by the bound book itself, and have been returned to the publisher by the printer.
Did I want my foul matter back? the publisher wanted to know.
The moment of truth. I'd been talking about decluttering, writing about decluttering. Did I want to take on hundreds more pages of JUNK from nearly 15 years ago?
I couldn't believe I said yes. Yes, I asked for trash to be returned to me. It's still in the shipping box while I figure out what I'm going to do with it.
My current desktop, How many items can you identify? A prize to the one who names the most.
There's new data out on clutter: It turns out I'm in good company. Two-thirds of American households include a collector, the stats say.
They also identify the difference between collecting and hoarding— collectors take pleasure in their stuff; hoarders simply hoard.
I can't say I'm taking any pleasure in the foul matter. Maybe I should sign each page and offer them to autograph/souvenir seekers. That is, to other collector/hoarders.
Andy Warhol, who straddled the border between eccentricity and pathology, according to the article's authors, would periodically sweep everything—cash, artwork, apple cores—off his desk and into a cardboard box. He stored hundreds of these “time capsules.”
It's a thought.
What do you do with stuff?