The Happiness Project

Following my post about the organizing and de-cluttering book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my darling friend Diane emailed me a considerably more useful list of potential clutter and object types.

Significant ObjectsSignificant-Objects-cover

First, from the NYT’s Joshua Glenn’s Significant Objects project, there is sorting our non-functional objects into five categories :

  • TOTEMS – are from the natural world, like rocks
  • IDOLS – are objects of contemplation, like Buddha figures
  • EVIDENCE – artifacts from a public event
  • TALISMANS – lucky objects
  • FOSSILS – things that bear mute witness to a vanished way of life

Then, from Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, she defines Clutter Types as:

  • Nostalgic clutter – relics of an earlier life
  • Conservation clutter – things I imagine being useful but aren’t presently
  • Freebie clutter – gifts, hand-me-downs we don’t use
  • Crutch clutter – things I use but know I shouldn’t
  • Aspirational clutter – things I aspire to use but don’t
  • Buyer’s remorse clutter – enough said

My husband and I had fun assigning some of our favorite items to various categories. Mechanical typewriters are definitely Fossils and are also a little Conservation clutter and Aspirational clutter (even I realize that having more than a dozen typewriters in 2015 is a bit excessive). Bob says he collects a lot of Evidence objects from travels and adventures like receipts and ticket stubs. We did have a hard time coming up with anything we thought was Crutch clutter. How about you? What categories does your clutter fall into?

Having Diane introduce me to these books from their perspective on clutter has made me want to read both volumes. Have you read them?

2 Comments on Clutter & Objects Defined

  1. I have not read either one of them, but I think I should. And so should my clutter-happy husband. I don’t have issues with de-cluttering, but his home office is clutter central. Ugh!

  2. I’ve been looking for good de-cluttering books! Oh do my Husband and I need them this year. I believe I’d fall under having Evidence & Fossils. My Husband Conservation/Aspirational Clutter. Thank you for this!

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