I had several topics in mind for blog posts this week, but the one that is predominantly on my mind this week is CLUTTER. Clutter, as my husband will gladly tell you, is the one sure-fire thing that can turn me into a giant stress ball in a matter of minutes, and subsequently, him into a psychiatrist talking me down off the ledge.

It all started when I was a kid. I grew up in a somewhat cluttered household (entirely too many knickknacks) and it has been my personal mission since leaving home to be as clutter free as possible. I’m not a minimalist by any stretch, but I do love the calming feeling of clean, clear counter space and walkways, and the joy of less than full cabinets and closets.

Most of my adult life clutter has not been a problem in my house. Then twenty months ago I had a baby, Little M, and life got complicated. Stuff accumulates a lot faster with children and it is harder to find the time to sort it and get rid of it in my preferred methods (sell, donate, recycle). Now, I work at it everyday and two of my favorite blogs 365lessthings and unclutterer (and the fear of clutter related stress) help keep me on task.

So what’s the problem? 

The further along the decluttering path I travel, the more other people’s clutter freaks me out.  Especially when the clutter belongs to people I know, love, care about.

So what do I do? How do you not become a ball of nerves when you are visiting someone’s home and are afraid to lay down your car keys because you don’t know if you’ll find them again? When you have to clear a space at the table in order to eat a meal? When you have breached the subject of too much stuff – gently, and not so gently – but it falls on deaf ears? How do you deal? How do you stop fantasizing about backing a truck up to the front door, loading all the stuff up and hauling it away? How do you remind yourself that it’s not your problem, your home, or your life, and to just let it go? I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, and it frustrates me. A lot.