Perfectionism – The Evil Queen of Clutter

Somewhere along the way I figured out that I’d never be perfect at anything. I’ve settled for good enough or work in progress in most areas of my life, and when I find a new area of perfectionism, I knock it down until it submits.


As I work with clients on projects to declutter or manage some area of their home, office, or life, I’ve discovered that perfectionism is the Evil Queen of Clutter, a malevolent overlord criticizing everything they attempt to accomplish. I spend time each session convincing people of how this evil she-devil is ruining their self-esteem and wasting their time.

  • Only Handle it Once

If I could make a wish to eliminate one area of clutter for everyone in the whole wide world it would be paper clutter. We’ve all got a lot of paper – and believing that you should only handle it once will just magnify your frustration and feeling of failure if you let it.


Realistically, how many of life’s everyday tasks do we only handle once? I can’t think of any! Everything we touch must be nudged along as we go.

  • My (fill in the blank) System Quit Working and It’s My Fault

When you get a new stove, or washer, or computer, or television . . . you’re the one who has to learn the nuances of a new way to complete an old task. We have to adapt. BUT if you’ve been using a system for filing papers or paying bills or rotating seasonal clothes and it quits working – it’s not YOU!


Systems should be dynamic and responsive to our needs, so if your system quits working it means your needs have changed – not that you’re a failure. (Changing a system because you’re bored with it is a reasonable excuse for updating how you accomplish a task.)

This week, look for the lies of perfectionism in areas of frustration. You might just find an evil queen to overthrow!


Want a serious look at perfectionism? I recommend How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism by Stephen Guise. I read it on Kindle – so no clutter!


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Did you know . . . 80 % of the papers we file, we never refer to again. The Small Business Administration A full four-drawer file cabinet holds 18,000 pages. NAPO The last task in the paperwork manage