In 2007, I wrote the entry for today’s message on creating distinction. That was before I really understood about neurodivergence, although I am, myself, neurodivergent. The series of posts about doom boxes pictured here brought to my attention that (a) I have tools for dealing with my clutter and (b) those tools don’t really work very well for me, because of executive dysfunction. I’s not so much an inability to create distinction – I have that in spades. It’s the being able to sit down and do it without getting distracted. Something that has worked for me in the past is having someone hang out with me while I make the piles. So, if you have the same issue, it might be worth a try.
If you’re not clear about what to do other than having company, read on.
If you have Too Much Stuff, here is a technique for creating distinction that you can try. Every 6 months, make some piles, as follows:
Group 1: What are the items that you use on a daily or at least weekly basis? What are the things that you only use on special occasions but that are indispensable at those times?
Group 2: What are the items that hold a strong sentimental value for you? Why? Is there some way to replace that sentimental value with something else, like a photograph? If the sentiment can be honored in some other way, the item does not belong in this group.
Group 3: What are the things in your life that bring you lasting joy? (please note that I wrote this long before I had heard of Marie Kondo)
Group 4: What are the things you own that you have never used? What items have you not used in at least 12 months that don’t meet the criteria for Groups 1, 2 or 3?
Group 5: What are the items that need repairing that you haven’t worked on in three months?
Consider getting rid of Groups 4 and 5.
I also find it helpful to schedule the bi-annual clearing fests on my calendar. Then I just have to remember to not ignore the reminder.
This post is part of a new series called Monday Message, based on that day’s reflection from 365 Days to Enlightenment (authorized versions are currently out of print, working on a new edition). Check back next Monday for another one! You can also sign up for the Daily Message on my mailing list if you’d like to receive a new reflection every day. I also often post them to Instagram and Twitter, if either of those is a medium you enjoy.