My office is a mess. No matter how hard I try to keep it neat and organized, it always reverts to looking like it’s been recently raided. Little pieces of paper with websites links or to-do-lists seem to multiply like sex-crazed rabbits every time I turn my back.

I’ve tried to find a place to keep all the stuff I think is too important to throw away, but I must admit I’m fighting a battle I can’t win. Some days when I settle in to do some writing I end up trying to find the top of the desk.  My closet and kitchen cabinets suffer from the same predicament. The other day I opened a cabinet and a swarm of plastic containers that I bought to hold Thanksgiving leftovers tumbled out. When a large lid thumped me on the head, I realized that all this stuff was holding me back, like walking through waist-high water with weights in my shoes. I was trying to claw my way to greatness with all of yesterday’s baggage in tow.

Is clutter stifling my creativity? Is clutter stifling my ability to mine that little nugget of gold that unquestionably belongs to me?  Can the things I think I need to write the Great American Novel keep me from writing the Great American novel? Almost every great philosopher has a quote about clutter. But no one has actually told me what to do with this stuff. I’m sure as soon as I throw something away, I’ll need it. If I can’t find that little piece of paper, I’ll never settle on a satisfying ending for my manuscript. The minute I clean out my closet that leather skirt will come back in style. How about you, is clutter keeping you from something?