1983: Clutter

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I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.
Title text: I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.


As the graph shows, the amount of junk sitting around Randall's house is on an ever-increasing trend. Thus, it will continue to pile up and cause problems.

Randall cleans up sometimes, thinking that he is returning to the same baseline amount of stuff each time, but it is not actually effective enough to keep up with the cluttering trend, and hence his worry.

The four places on the graph where the amount of stuff decreases reference common times when people clean up and get rid of junk or excess stuff. This includes:

  • The satisfaction many people feel from getting rid of things and making the remaining items look neat.
  • Moving, a time when most people will get rid of items they no longer need and use, rather than packing them up and moving them to a new home where they will once again cause clutter.
  • Spring cleaning. In many areas with a harsh winter, it is common to clean in the spring when it is warm enough to open windows for dusting, after months of building up smoke or soot from fires to keep the house warm. In other cultures where the year starts in the spring (a time of rebirth) there are traditions of cleaning up before the start of the new year. This may also mean that this graph takes place over the course of a single year, a disturbing fact if the graph continues this way.

Although not mentioned in the quotes, it is also common in the United States to clean up and donate items (for instance to Goodwill) on December 31st, right before the New Year, to gain the charitable donation benefit on their taxes for that year.

The title text refers to the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. The main concept of the book is that one should gather all belongings and only retain items that "spark joy". Ironically, the thought of reading the book didn't spark joy for Randall so he decided to donate it. Thus, one of the few things that he did get rid of was something that if he had kept and put into practice could have helped him actually reduce his clutter.


[There is a panel containing a line graph. The x- and y-axes are labeled "time" and "amount of stuff in my house" respectively.]
[The y-value generally increases straight-line as x increases. There are a few labeled exceptions where the y-value decreases slightly but instantly increases again. From left to right:]
"I need to clean up."
"I've really let junk build up. Feels good to clear it out."
"I hate moving, but at least it's a chance to finally get rid of all this excess stuff."
"Ah, spring cleaning!"
[Caption below the panel:]
I'm starting to worry about my strategy for dealing with clutter.

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So that book mentioned in the title text is real. I had to Google it because I'm a horribly cluttered person and have never been interested in actually being organized. https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308 ... Just in case anyone else was also curious. From the product description on Amazon, the main concept of the book is that you should only retain items in your home that "spark joy" - thus there is a joke implied that Randall is already doing the main concept from the book without having ever read it. 15:11, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Martin Or it could be that he read the book to the part where it tells him to only retain items in your home that spark joy, realizes that the book is not one such item, and throws it out. Herobrine (talk) 00:45, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

I've always also seen spring cleaning as a time to go into storage and pull out the warm weather clothes and pack away the snow clothes until the next year. 20:55, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Rowan

My Hard drive is more organized than my room. Priorities. Linker (talk) 22:10, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

My hard drive is more organized because there can be symbolic links on hard drive and some stuff can be organized automatically by software. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:52, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

The idea to throw away everything which doesn't spark joy is similar to the idea of never have employment which doesn't spark joy. It's helping a lot if it works, but if you can't find such job, what are you supposed to do? (Wait. It's japanese book. Committing seppuku may be considered an option.) I think that the tidying book not sparking joy is not about irony in getting rid of item which would help him, but a practical example how such idea doesn't work for everyone. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:52, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

My old computers need a new home. I have all but one I've ever used, & several I haven't. My trusty Kaypro II was my first PC. Then (in addition to a few terminals) I got a used, already old 8088XT (ran around 12Mhz, IIRC). At some point around then I also got my first Apple PC: A Lisa. Beautiful beast; needs a power supply rebuild (don't they all). Later I upgraded my DOS collection to a genuine IBM Personal System 2 286. By this time Pentiums were already out... A few years later I was building Core 2 machines for my friends but was using a used $50 486 laptop myself. ("It's pre-Pentium, but it'll get you through the night." - internet cafe user on Caroline & The City) Eventually I got around to building a Core 2 Duo machine in a ridiculously tall full-tower case "Designed for Windows" circa '95. That board & many others have gone into sleeves & boxes over the years, while the full-tower case remains my primary build (ease of access); You can't have it. Somehow, without even having ever used them, I have also picked up an Epson 386 & a NeXT Station. It seems the only computer I've ever gotten rid of was the 486 laptop, which I sold back to the guy who I bought it from, several years later, for $50. ProphetZarquon (talk) 05:15, 21 April 2018 (UTC)