Daily Doodad Detox

As Mark Twain, I've marveled at Clutter Addiction's tragic comedy: Families drowning in boxes, homes turned labyrinths, and the simple cure—ditch a doodad daily to escape the cardboard jungle and maybe, just maybe, find your tea set again.

Daily Doodad Detox

written by 

jaron summers (c) 2024


As Mark Twain, or as I’m occasionally mistaken at parties, Samuel Clemens, I’ve seen many a peculiar thing in my time, but none so absurdly tragic as the American spectacle of Clutter Addiction.

It’s a peculiar malaise, one that I might’ve written about, had I not been too preoccupied with the Mississippi and human folly.

Let me narrate to you the extent of this curious affliction, in tales so outlandish, they could only be true in the spirit of human folly.

Firstly, there was the case of the Thompson family, who, in their zeal to organize, bought so many storage containers they had to rent another house to store the containers. The irony was not lost on them, but their living room was, quite literally lost, as they couldn’t find it anymore.

Then, consider the plight of the Widow Jenkins. She bought so many decorative boxes to contain her knick-knacks that the boxes became the knick-knacks. Her home became a museum of boxes, each empty yet full of potential. Guests were given tours, but alas, never invited back, for there was simply no room to entertain.

Lastly, let’s not forget the Andersons, whose collection of unused storage solutions reached such a peak that they inadvertently built a labyrinth. Their cat, Mr. Whiskers, was the only creature able to navigate the maze, becoming the unintended Minotaur of this modern-day Crete.

Family gatherings ceased, for fear of relatives becoming permanently lost within.

Ladies and gents, I’ve had a lightbulb moment in the autumn of my life, and it’s as clear as the nose on your face: Let’s put a full stop to snapping up those wicked boxes and bins, okay? How about we dive into an epic saga – flinging out one piece of rubbish daily. Imagine the buzz, the sheer euphoria as you wave goodbye to your third backup toaster that’s been gathering dust.

Now, don’t beat yourself up. This chaos didn’t appear overnight. It’s like the slow demise by a thousand paper cuts.

It all kicks off with a trigger. And that trigger? A deep-seated urge to buy, hoard, or even pilfer empty boxes.

Each time you get the itch for another box, recognize that alarm bell. HALT. Chuck out something that’s gathering cobwebs, something you haven’t touched in a millennium.

By the time we hit New Year’s Eve, you’ll have tamed your abode from the grips of havoc, and who knows, you might just clear a path to host a quaint tea party with the neighbors – that is if the clutter beast hasn’t gobbled up your tea set.

So, as we draw the curtain, my fellow clutter-busters, let’s vow not to be the architects of our own mess.

Let’s break free, one trinket at a time. Stop the madness of acquiring more vessels to bury treasures you’ll never see again.

Let’s howl in defiance at the mountain of stuff, and arm in arm, stride into the dawn of a clutter-free realm. Because, let’s face it, life’s way too fleeting to be spent playing archaeologist in your own living room under a landslide of storage bins.

Ponder on this–no container; no clutter. Evict one, and you evict the other!



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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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