Clutter is a big problem for most of us in modern times. Back when many of us didn’t have much, we saved everything we could. We mended, handed down, re-soled, glued together, and repaired. Now we are showered with things we don’t want, are given or left to us by someone we care(d) for, paperwork we are not sure that we can or should throw away, and magazines/books that we intend to read someday. My refrigerator and the back of my (metal) front door are covered with “important” notes, lists, appointments, coupons, receipts, etc., because if I put them in a drawer, I will lose them. I have already forgotten what is in my cabinets.
So the inside of my house looks like the inside of my mind! And the stuff in the cabinets is in the “basement” or “attic” of my mind–still there, and I don’t want to part with it, but basically useless.
Birds and animals do not foul their own nests and burrows. They remove or bury their own excrement, though crows have been known to bring shiny objects to their nests, and packrats may stuff their nests for the same reasons that people hoard. People fill closets, chests, shelves, bookcases, curio cabinets, and filing cabinets, trying to organize their “stuff.” They display things on their walls. They store things in basements, attics, and garages. Their houses are museums. And then if they still don’t have enough space for things seldom used, needed, or thought of, they build storage sheds or rent commercial space.
Wild animals–and some primitive people–move on when their home gets fouled or no longer serves them as shelter. Civilized people demolish the old and build again on the ashes of the old, bigger, better, and with more space and better ways to store more of their possessions and information. There is good and bad in this, some necessity and wisdom, some folly and actual hindrance to getting on with our lives. Scanning and storing electronically only gets it out of sight. Virtual clutter is still clutter. However, it is much easier to delete than to burn!
Would that we could delete at will the inner clutter that no longer serves us! Then we would find it easier to better organize on the outside what is necessary and desired, and jettison the rest.