Clutter-Busting Week!

Clutter-Busting Week!

I’ve been feeling the weight of clutter lurking in my basement, which has been packed full of boxes since embarking on my living room cafe (LRC) project. It’s a huge mess! Therefore, I’m creating a challenge for myself to get some stuff done by the 18th. Urk.

Junk Everywhere!

I went downstairs to take a picture of it on Sunday morning, thinking that I’d start to chip away at it:

"Clutter!" I then promptly gathered my energies and took a long nap. When I woke up, I looked at the state of the living room itself and saw this:

"Clutter!""Clutter!" I then gave up for the day and took another long nap. The only thing I got accomplished was visiting the Asian market to pick up a jar of Kimchee, then went to sleep feeling a bit depressed about it all.

After getting a good night’s sleep, I decided that this would be the week that I start chipping away at the mountain of clutter. I think I have a couple of challenges:

  • There are several categories of items that don’t have a real “home”, or have overflowed their original home. Making a list of all the categories will be an interesting way to maintain some focus on the chore.
  • As I live a very isolated existence at the moment, I find chores that don’t have any connection to other people or my own sense of amusement just don’t get done.

I keep coming back to connection as a source of motivation. Without that sense of connection, there is no joy of doing. And as I’ve grown more wise in my own ways, I increasingly am recognizing that creating that personal joy is not something I can do in a vacuum. It’s also not the kind of thing that just comes into your life without putting the effort in yourself. I have a theory that this can be thought of as “love” or “karma”, and it’s perhaps the unacknowledged component of my long-standing “create and show” approach to life…but that’s something to talk about another day.

In the meantime, the very idea of having a “living room cafe” is to create increased opportunity for making connections! I can probably wrap the clutter-busting chore around an “official opening” of the LRC. That means putting some time into defining just what the living room cafe means to me, and what kind of activities I could offer. Hard visualization and planning! I’ll do a bit right here in this blog post:

What is the Living Room Cafe? It’s a private co-working space that can be reconfigured to host a variety of event types. For example:

  • co-working w/ coffee
  • watching movies
  • giving small classes or presentations
  • hosting small meetings
  • hosting workshop nights for digital music, design, programming
  • specialty food nights
  • working on projects of a physical nature
  • podcast and video blog recording
  • private art gallery for showing the work of my friends

The space is not quite ready because my computer workstation setup is occupying a great deal of the space at the moment. I’d like to move this back downstairs into the basement, and have a smaller setup in the corner. I’d also like to get the larger television purchased and mounted in the space where the workstation is currently occupying, and get the walls painted.

What can I do to launch the LRC immediately? There are three immediate events I can think of hosting:

  • digital recording night with friends to pool our knowledge of recording.
  • podcast recording day to set up the podcast studio at home, as our current location will be going away :(

I think the major challenge is to clear the basement so I can move the standing desk downstairs. I’m not actually sure if this is the real solution, as there is an advantage to having the workstation in the living room (mostly to monitor food preparation). A second challenge is to find a home for all the clutter; I’m thinking I need to rethink my storage solutions, which means saving up some money.

I’m going to set a deadline of MONDAY JANUARY 18 to have scheduled some events and made progress on (1) clutter home categorization and (2) making a dent in the basement. If I can squeeze in a scouting mission to IKEA in Stoughton, that would be a bonus!


In which our erstwhile hero descends into the bowels of the basement to assess just how bad it is!


  1. Beverly 7 years ago

    This is a great challenge Dave! I read this post while taking a break from organizing and setting up my new “office space” at work. If you like, I’ll email you a pic of my storage unit where my life has been packed away for 3 years – and where I (coincidentally) have a I have a Darth Maul duel lightsaber.

    Question: what is the robot at 1:12? He looked amazing!!

  2. JJ 7 years ago

    Three rules of work 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity. 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. — Albert Einstein

  3. J.D. Meier 7 years ago

    Good stuff!

    Have you seen Tiny Habits and Motivation Waves by BJ Fogg? It might provide some insight and ways to chop the challenge down to size.

    What helps me is to box things. I put things into little boxes that are easy to move. This way I can quickly re-arrange things. And for the things that don’t fit neatly into a category, at least they are contained within a box. Consolidation helps me cut through clutter faster.

    The other thing that helps me is to think in terms of experiences that I want to create. For example, if I write a simple narrative about my garage … Imagine if I have a wide-open space to play with the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets. Imagine if the walls have simple visual displays and whiteboards and places to stick my sticky notes. Imagine if I could quickly bring my ideas to life with 3-D printers and prototype the next big thing. While that’s not a great example, you get the idea. The idea is if I write a narrative about what my room could be like, it helps me reinforce the vision. Vision helps me focus my time and energy on making a change.

    But the real key is to make it easier to make changes. That’s where the small containers come in.