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Clutterhack

A comment from [personal profile] karen_jk this morning has me thinking again about the analogies between weight loss and decluttering--specifically, can you "hack" your clutter the way John Walker claims you can hack your weight?



Looking back at my own massive decluttering project, I see a bunch of similarities between it and Walker's weight-loss story.
  • Body::House
  • Excess weight::Clutter
  • Goal weight::Uncluttered house
  • Calories::Possessions
  • Eating::Acquisition
  • Calorie Burn::Disposal

I see now that my solution to clutter was similar to Walker's weight hack in several important respects. I had to quantify the problem and design "negative feedback proportional controls" to get to a solution. That meant measuring my initial level of clutter, defining the desired level, and then decreasing the current level systematically and measurably. When the measurement declined, I was on the right track. When it went up, I had to apply additional controls.

The big difference is that with weight loss I only need to control the inputs--how much I eat--and my metabolism will manage the outputs--excess pounds (exercise is a minor factor in calorie burn for me); whereas with decluttering I had to take conscious physical action on both sides of the equation.

The decluttered areas of my house have remained persistently decluttered, but I'm not sure whether that's from a profound and permanent change in my perspective or because I've developed a set of feedback loops and controls that are unconscious. A little of each, I think. I do not think a change of perspective will result in permanent weight-management, but I think it will help me accept that I must fire up the artificial controls pretty much every day forever.

So yeah, I'd say there's a clutterhack, and now I'm curious to design it.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.

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