Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Confessions of a Clutter Hypocrite and Kindle book giveaway

The following is a chapter from my newest book, Shock the Clock: Time Management Secrets for Writers and Other Creatives.  After you read it, please enter the drawing for a free kindle download!

     I was going to include a chapter about keeping clutter at a minimum as a means to manage time. But then I looked around my office and spied piles of papers and books on my desk, three inboxes full of files, a tape measure hanging from the doorknob, and a bulletin board showing very little cork. In the dining room, the backs of our chairs serve as shirt hangers, and cat toys litter the floor. Bibles, journals, and books jostle for position on my love seat. Same with the counter in my bathroom—at least three books are stacked there at any given time.
     So I can’t write this chapter, because I am a clutter hypocrite. But if I did write it, I’d tell you that:

*      Clutter complicates not only our environments, but 
      our lives, distracting us from getting done what God has called us to do.
*      When we own too much junque, we become slaves to our possessions. They go from tools to tyrants, demanding time to clean, organize, and put away.
*      Lasting happiness is based on loving, healthy relationships—with God and others. Taking care of, sorting, and tripping over a huge collection of things depletes our spiritual and emotional energy that we could be spending on relationships.
 I’d also suggest that if you realize your home or office is full of clutter, and you want to 
de-junque, you should start by getting rid of anything that:
*      Is broken and not worth fixing
*      Is the wrong size, color, or style
*      Is taking up more room or time than the happiness it gives
Then I’d tell you how to accomplish this:
*      Enlist help from a trusted but objective friend who isn’t as attached to your collection of hair bows from elementary school or scratched Elvis records. Spend a day together, de-junqing everything that fits into the above three categories.
*      Give, give, give to charities, homeless shelters, and thrift stores. Just don’t give it to relatives who are likely to give it back to you, or a second-hand store you frequently shop at.
*      Reward yourself after each room, drawer, or box you’ve cleaned out. But not with more stuff! Read a chapter from a novel, eat a favorite snack, or see a movie. Then revel in how much time you are freeing to write and focus on relationships.
     But, alas. For the reasons mentioned above, I can’t write this chapter. I’d feel terrible if you read it, took its advice, and then sent me an email saying how much more you’re accomplishing since de-junqing your office and home. I’d be envious of your simpler lifestyle and the extra time you had to spend writing, on other hobbies, or with people. That feeling might force me to call a friend and ask her to help me de-junque, so I could gain more time.
     Perhaps I should write it after all. . .  

If you'd like to win a free kindle download of Shock the Clock for yourself or to share with someone who might need to de-junque, please leave your email at the end of this post. I will draw one winner  after midnight on Saturday, February 13. 
     Which tip on de-junquing in the chapter above helped you the most? 


  1. I like "I'd its taking up more room or time than the happiness it gives". Good point! Trinapen10@gmail.com

  2. Thanks for this at the perfect time I am cleaning out my art room.

  3. It's taking up too much room and doesn't make me happy as now I spend time cleaning it. Good words. I'm working on my piles. I'm a pilot....pile it here.pile it there.

    1. LOL--me too, Becky! But I'm leaning to throw things away. That's my best tip for clutter management.

    2. snapperbeck at gmail dot com

  4. Like all the chapters in the book, I like how placed God at the centre of every step!

  5. I'm all for the rewards! ;) Love your ideas, Jen. So practical and helpful. Don't enter me in the giveaway; I already have your book!

  6. Hi Jeanette! Like Karen, I love the reward thing too. This is a timely post for me, as I just dejunque'd (love that spelling! almost makes it sound exotic and fun...) my writing room. Good Lord, that place was a disaster. Papers all over the place, folders with papers stuck in them from trying to get organized once before. It's an on-going struggle for me.
    I'd love to win the Kindle version of your book! That's where my copies of your other publications are, so I'd have a whole collection :)

  7. Jeanette: When I get to the place I can. I also need to dejunque my writing room. While I was in the rehab center, Hubby went through the house and dejunqued the living room and the kitchen and the bathroom. Had I asked him to help me do it, he would have laughed me out of town. I get to 'graduate' from physical therapy one day the latter half of next week. Maybe then I can get serious about this writing room. I know I used a lot of overworked phrases in this but those were what came to mind.

  8. Hi Jeanette -

    Clutter seems to be a hot topic these days. Not only does it mess with our time, but it causes stress. My office is the biggest problem. It's overwhelming, but I've got to tackle it even if it's a file drawer or shelf at a time.

    Perhaps we should start a support group, "Junque Anonymous?"

    I already have your excellent book. :)

  9. And the winner is. . . Becky L! Thanks for entering this contest, everyone! Please come back for more Hope Splashes and freebies.

  10. Congratulations Becky for winning the ebook.


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