In our culture we seem to correlate success with owning more stuff. But, what we often don’t realize is how much time all this stuff sucks up. Something we don’t need added to the motherload.

Remove just one irritating bit of clutter

One of the things I have discovered is the less you own, the less you have to organize, tidy and maintain. So, to reclaim some time this week I got rid of items that regularly collect on our kitchen counter. In particular, two plastic beer steins (which freeze) that had become a source of high irritation for me. Leftover from my partner’s bachelor years, they had been hidden in our freezer for years but recently discovered by my children. They’d fish them out of our freezer for 2-5 minutes of play and then leave them lying around. This drove me crazy because I regularly spent time collecting, washing and putting them away. My husband confirmed he didn’t use them anymore and agreed to get rid of them. Now that they, and other counter-collecting, time sucking items are gone I have reclaimed the time that I would have spent managing this stuff. And, I happily, eliminated a source of irritation.

This might not seem like much time, but if you’re managing items like these on a daily or even weekly basis, it really adds up. Just five minutes a day for 2/3 of a year (243 days) managing stuff you don’t use eats up 20.3 hours/year of time and provides no value—and may even be a source of irritation. Decluttering is time worth spending, and starting with one spot makes it easier. Getting rid of a little kitchen counter clutter can go a long way.

Learn how realizing the impact of the motherload inspired this series. Watch for next week’s post regarding my dream vegetable garden. Find the whole series here.