Thursday, March 02, 2006

Clutter Cousins

My friend Susan Warner had a great idea - "Clutter Cousins." I happen to know her inspiration for this idea.

Sue used to work here at the paper and once a week, she and another reporter, Jennifer Lin, would run up to the Art Museum at lunch. Naturally, they talked while they ran, and the outgrowth was a book published last year, "Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running." They found that they encouraged each other to run, that they were more committed to it because there were two of them and that their running collaboration, which started out as exercise and companionship, eventually led to a great burst of creativity, e.g. the book. In their book, they describe other women who drew support from each other as they ran.

Sue's very similar idea is that we should become "clutter cousins." We can find a partner, perhaps a co-worker, and collaborate on getting organized. That way the dull and lonely work won't seem so dull. Maybe on lunch hours, "clutter cousins" can take turns sitting with each other. One sorts, organizes and tosses as the other chants, "throw it out, throw it out." Plus, the cousin can help make decisions. Is the memo from the boss on the company mission statement worth keeping? ("Throw it out! Throw it out!")

Even better, you can bore your "clutter cousin" with your great triumphs such as "I cleaned the bottom drawer in my file cabinet!" Your clutter cousin will be genuinely glad for you. Who knows? Maybe you'll even write a book!

Perhaps two of you will meet through this blog and become "clutter cousins." Of course, be careful. But if you do decide to become someone's clutter cousin, either at work or through the blog, please let me know or at least post about it. I think other people would be interested in reading about how it works.

More to come...

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