"You? Writing about clutter?" my friends asked me, incredulous. "But you don't have a problem with stuff!"
Yeah, I put up a pretty good front. To the average visitor, my house resembled a normal—if slightly disheveled—home for a family of four.
But. Upstairs we had this...room. How can I describe it? It was my picture of Dorian Gray. It was my Achilles heel; my albatross; my deepest, darkest secret. At 567 square feet, it was the largest room in our house. And it was entirely unusable.
Filled with the accumulated detritus of 20 years of living in our house, we called it the "Hell Room." When my friends expressed disbelief at my self-professed problem with stuff, I was half-tempted to show it to them, but then I remembered that they might need resuscitation afterward.
Every year, I made a New Year's resolution to win back the use of my room; to address the clutter habit head-on, square-shouldered, steely-eyed. Every year I failed spectacularly.
Then I had another idea. I made a promise to myself to spend an entire year thinking about, writing about, and dealing with clutter. In the process, I made several realizations on the subject of stuff.