Identity — Clutter

We have a room in our house that has evolved over time, in the same way our family has changed and grown around it.

The third bedroom became the spare room, then it was the nursery, it soon became an overflow room with cupboards and drawers full of clothes; now it is the junk room. Where clutter goes to die — but not before we have left it somewhere in case we ever need it again. We never need it again.

There are some comparisons here with the technology I use, especially around the information I store or the links I need to access — the home screen on my phone, the desktop on my laptop and the bookmarks I keep on Google Chrome. Each and every one cluttered with stuff that really needs to die; to be deleted. Though I am nowhere near as bad as the owners of desktops highlighted in this piece on Mashable yesterday.

The information is there out of laziness. A paper I needed for a one of meeting will often be saved on the desktop, as the very nature of it is out of date the minute I publish it — why bother wasting the time filing it away? Apps I download on to my phone often fight for space with the apps I never use, but can’t be bothered to move off of the home screen — especially the ones I can’t delete (thanks Apple).

The bigger “crime” of cluttering can be found with internet bookmarks. A quick check shows I still have bookmarks saved for an Open University course I did on Classics, nine years ago. Some of the other links I have clustered together are dead; pages and sites abandoned by their owners long before I forgot to abandon them myself.

One of the traits of the 21st Century Human Upgrade is to acknowledge the clutter and to lose it, all in the name of increasing productivity. If I’m never going to use a document, a link, an app — now is the time to clean it up; ship it out.

Death to clutter!