Do You Manage Clutter Like The Tortoise or The Hare?
We all live busy lives. In a world filled with abundance, time is the one commodity we never seem to have enough of. The trick is to do more with the time we have. If we could make our lives just a little bit easier to live, think about all of the positive implications that would mean.
Put yourself in this scenario: You’ve just navigated through a dog day and you’re beat. You’re walking towards your front door and all you are hoping is to retreat from the world. As you open the door there is nowhere to hide. Clutter has taken over your only safe refuge.
Sadly, this is often what we need to encounter before we begin the process of decluttering and embrace the comfort of a more efficient life. For our purposes today let’s examine what that process might look like through a re-examination of the classic Aesop fable The Tortoise and The Hare.
If one were to channel his or her inner hare there would be a mad dash to mindlessly purge. Everything would be discarded without a lot of thought. Through this process a lot of good would be accomplished that brought us closer to the goal of a more efficient life. A good deal of excess would be removed from our living environment along with a fair number of items that likely served no real purpose other than taking up space. However; in the end, what would we really have accomplished? Did we address the original underlying cause of our clutter problem? Have we mapped out a roadmap to the efficient lifestyle we want to live? In our initial purge did we go too far? When we open our front door, does the space we inhabit feel like the place we want to take refuge in? Have we truly made progress or is the proverbial finish line still off in the distant horizon?
Another approach would be to embrace the tortoise as our animal totem. By doing so, everything will seem to move along at a much slower, far more measured pace. We would begin with a lot less physical activity. Visualization will be our friend. In addition, we will ask ourselves (and answer) a host of questions. What makes us feel good? How do we recharge? Most importantly, how do we want to live? Next, we will do a lot of soul searching. What are our habits and how do they contribute to the condition of our current environment? Are we packrats? Do we utilize our environments to their full capabilities or are our spaces full of unmet potential? Next, we will systematically chart a course that leads us away from where we are and marches forward towards where we want to be. This is not a race, this is a process full of surprises around every bend and corner. However, we are undaunted for we are committed to the course we have set out upon. Slow and steady can achieve the results we are looking for, and that is all that counts because this is anything but a race.
Regardless of whichever creature we resonate with (tortoise or hare) there are elements of both we can hold on to when the goal is to create a more efficient life for ourselves and have that efficiency reflected in the environments we inhabit. The hare is not afraid to let go at a moments notice. Just as important, he will move judiciously when required. However, it is only through the systematic approach of the tortoise that the hare can truly achieve lasting results. Most importantly, the hare must understand that to de-clutter and embrace a more efficient environment is never a race with winners and losers. It is always a process where measured results keep us engaged.
For those of us non-animals we must always remember that our environments are meant to be lived in. Like our lives, the spaces we inhabit are dynamic and constantly evolving. Efficiency is simply a concept we can use as a principal value upon which other values can be built upon. In the end, it is the quality of our lives that matters, not the stuff we surround ourselves with.