Thursday, November 11, 2004

Throwing Things Away vs. Redistribution

Why is it so hard to throw things away? Until food grows fur, or until I move house (to another country), I seem to need everything to stay where it was. But then my rooms become cluttered, finding stuff and cleaning gets harder and harder, and I feel overwhelmed. Once I do manage to throw something away, I never regret it, and feel lighter and better, so what's going on here?

Well, thanks to George Lakoff's recent publicity (hurrah! my first link!), I see it's a problem of Framing. Instead of defining the things I throw away as Garbage, even if that's where they go, I need to start thinking about the whole thing as a Physics issue. I am an Agent in the Global Redistribution of Matter (GRM). I am enabling The Matter to move from My Space, where it can be replaced by moderately-breathable Air, to some Other Space - a friend's house, the thrift shop, the garbage dump, the recycling bin, a worthy cause - where its utility will increase. Minimal mourning necessary.

I'm going to to test this theory by redistributing some matter right now, and I'll let you know how it turns out. This may take a while...

5 comments:

The Lioness said...

I think I may be a bit in love w you in the nicest way possible... My trick is to make piles and then go through every one and not leave one unsorted before I move on to the next one. Otherwise I lose heart. It's still a pain though. Ichsa!

Savtadotty said...

Dear Lioness:

Piles!
I already have many many piles. Sooo many piles. In each drawer and shelf and even on some floors (tch, tch).

Sorted?
You leave out the best part! Into what categories, pray tell? For you see, I also already have piles of categories. And virtual categories. Not to mention overlapping and cross-referenced categories. Sorting?...No no no.

I know you're trying to help, but if you really loved me the way I need, you would take a vacation in Israel and spend it helping me decide what to do with every single item I own (or else you would set fire to my apartment, allowing me and Shuki to escape first).

Yichs.

The Lioness said...

Oh I so wish I could prove my devotion that way, a holyday in Israel, where I haven't set foot in THREE HORRIBLY LONG YEARS, I could do that. Now.

Ok, what I meant was this: do not drive yourself crazy. Take a cluttered desk; sort out the clutter - you know how to do it, make piles of paper documents according to subject and FILE THEM, throw away what you don't need IMMEDIATELY, put books back in shelves after having piled them also (I have mine somewhat lumped together by subject), take clothes back to closet (being creative here) etc. Once desk is clear, move on to chair, etc. This works for me. I'm sadly losing the battle against the books that breed during the night and pup by dawn though BUT THAT'S HARDLY MY FAULT.

I LOVE organising files, folders, closets. Mine not so much but other people's??? LOVE IT! it would be no sacrifice. Who knows, eventually i'll come visit again and by then you'll probably have recluttered so - you're on.

The Lioness said...

Oh, also: clothes you haven't worn in over 2 years (and I'm being generous)? Donate. Everything you find and didn't remember having in the 1st place? Chances are you won't miss it so donate.

Savtadotty said...

I wonder why it's so much easier and more fun to organize someone else's clutter? During my visit last month, Prowesslessnesslessness's wife (my other daughter-in-law, not RW, who is either my daughter-in-law or my daughter-outlaw, depending on where we are) asked me to organize/eliminate the clutter in their garage. We were all pleased with the results, and also with the painlessness of the process.