Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Keeping Eyes Wide Open

It's so easy to stop looking. When you see something for the first time, your eyes can't take it all in, but they see it. Colors pop, edges are sharp, content is deep. But the next time, it dims a touch. And if you see something (or, someone) everyday, you start to stop seeing it at all.

This is how our houses can become so very cluttered. After not very long, we stop seeing the stuff. We step over it, or around it, push it to the side to get through a doorway, toss it into a pile, which becomes a mountain.

That is why it helps to have a fresh look. New eyes, any eyes. The person need not be an expert. It's purely the new phenomenon that makes it work. Because, to me, that mountain of paperwork on your desk, it's not a fixture, it's an eyesore that I'm seeing for the first time.

The true secret of decluttering, is, thus, to always look with new eyes. Sometimes you just need to take a break from your space for a little while. But you can activate that fresh look, those new eyes, with a little control and determination.


Anonymous said...

I learned from a college professor 1000 years ago that, after one had thought all the clutter was picked up, to view the room using a hand mirror. Seeing the same view from a different perspective reveals things over-looked. I should have followed this advice myself.... one time I spent the day cleaning house in preparation for entertaining 2 tables of bridge. Midway into the evening I glanced over, and saw the can of PLEDGE sitting on the bookcase. EGADS! I certainly didn't rush up to remove it. But I felt like it.

Your loving mother-in-law.

Beth said...

Wow! This really spoke to me!

But now I'm gonna really freak people out when I invite them over for the first time and stop them at the door, sweep my arm into the room, taking it all in, and ask in a low, tense voice "What do you think? What do you think, really?"