a. Things you have no use for; things which are just there. Mental or physical, psychic or tangible: unnecessary, unhelpful, often harmful though in a slow, creeping, insidious way that you might not notice.

b. Different than mess. Mess is produced by making, creating, exploring, discovering, playing, working, learning… You know, living. Mess is a natural byproduct of life. Mess is the stack of books you’ve read or want to read or are reading. Clutter is the stack of books you haven’t read, don’t want to read, and never will get around to reading. Mess is created by what you’re doing. Clutter is created by what you’re avoiding.

c. The natural enemy of simplicity. Clutter creates a state of disorder which, in turn, creates a feeling of unrest and unfinished business, of urgency, of stress and anxiety and an overwhelming desire to just chuck it all and flee to the Bahamas. Few of us actually do chuck it all and flee to the Bahamas. If we did, we might find that simplicity after all, thanks to clutter.

d. A state of being that can spread throughout one’s mental or physical environment. It affects your energy, your clarity, your sense of self, your sense of space, your whole experience.

e. A thief of both motivation and calm. Clutter forces you to spend time and energy on the mundane, the unimportant, the things you really don’t care about. As long as you have to slog through a morass of clutter every day, you’ll feel alternately frustrated, dissatisfied, exhausted, guilty, ashamed, and resentful of how you’re living your life. A way out? Be brave. Be honest. Use these phrases: “I don’t want that. I don’t need that. I don’t actually care about that.” Letting go is good. Give yourself more space for the important messes of life by clearing out the pointless clutter.