STUFFology 101 is for those us who want to get the clutter out of our lives without being featured on reality TV. We can still use our bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen, but we harbor secrets.
1. Do you race around to pick up piles when someone’s at the door?
2. Do you close the door to hide your stuff in the spare room?
3. Do you still have boxes to unpack from your last move a dozen years ago?
4. Are you unable to focus because your mind is so frazzled?
STUFFologists Brenda Avadian and Eric Riddle share four decades of experience dealing with STUFF–ah-hmm, clutter. Inside STUFFology 101, you’ll find FUN and FLEXIBLE approaches to get your mind out of what YOU DEFINE as CLUTTER.
Targeted Age Group:: 35-55
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have wanted to write a book for many years. While doing a goal setting exercise with fellow Toastmaster Brenda Avadian in 2012, she mentioned a book project she had started but not completed. We talked about it and she invited me to work on it with her. She called me her ‘book spouse’, which turned out to be accurate because we spent 100’s of hours together working on the book, website, etc.
I am grateful that we had that conversation, because I finally wrote a book as a co-author. Pretty cool!
5. A Man’s Home Garage is His Castle
Eric believes a man’s home is his castle, unless the man’s wife says otherwise.
Men and women view things differently because men and women … well, they’re different! In the past, gender stereotypes dictated that a woman commanded the kitchen while the man hid in the garage. The family room was often up for grabs, depending on who got the TV remote first.
What the heck does that have to do with clutter? Plenty.
Fellow men, I ask you, what happened to the adage that a man’s home is his castle? If we’re lucky, we’re left with the garage. The garage—our man cave—filled with our stuff: workbench, power tools, in-progress projects, and a fridge full of beer. AHHHH, now, that’s dreaming . . . because the reality is different.
Eric shares his reality:
The workbench is mine, supposedly. It is a flat surface I keep clean. But the workbench is right next to the door leading into the house—a perfect spot to set stuff down temporarily. The problems start when things migrate out of the house and land on the workbench temporarily—such as a quick cleanup of clutter when unexpected guests arrive.
Eventually things pile up because the items on the workbench have been there temporarily, for months. What the hell happened to my workbench?
And where do I put all the stuff in the garage that isn’t even mine? Why do I need a box of Barbie dolls, VHS
tapes, and collector thimbles?
Oh yeah, I don’t!
But, if I want to stay married, I’ve got to find a place for it in my castle, temporarily.
Temporarily? That was five years ago!
And now, the VHS tapes have a broken VCR to keep them company.
The trailer? Okay, I can’t blame that on anyone but me. About fifteen years ago, I wanted my own landscaping business. I bought a 4 x 8 utility trailer. I even upgraded the trailer with a custom enclosure and toolbox. I never started the business. Ouch. But I’ve used the trailer at least seven times over the last eleven years, so it has clearly paid for itself. I had a “For Sale” sign on it for a few months, but no one could see it inside the garage facing the workbench.
My philosophy is: I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
It’s a good thing there is storage space under the workbench. You never know when you’ll need that ten gallon fish tank again or the red Radio Flyer wagon. The baby stroller next to it should come in handy as well. My girls are grown now and they may give us grandchildren. We have to be ready for these major life events. Besides, if I got rid of the stroller, the high chair would be lonely. What about the baby clothes stored in bins on the shelf? They never go out of style!
The turkey deep fryer on the top shelf that I bought on clearance a dozen years ago will surely get used this Thanksgiving. I should probably open the box to see how it works.
That’s perfect because the Christmas boxes are right next to the deep fryer, which will help me remember to use it this year. Just like the snow skis I haven’t used since high school, next to the Christmas boxes, helped me remember to book the ski trip last winter. Wait, we stayed home last winter. Never mind. The point is I may need these things someday.
Back to the kitchen. The way we’ve run our home, the kitchen is my wife’s domain, which she runs with an iron mitt. However, the counter next to the sink is a sore point for both of us. It’s her kitchen, but I use it too. Is it unreasonable to expect a towel to be within easy reach? We keep the towel on the counter next to the sink, but it’s often under the mail, a magazine, or grocery ads. Boy, there’s nothing like the smell of soggy paper in the morning, from wet hands searching
desperately for the kitchen towel.
At least the family room is mine, right now. I have the TV remote. Why is it wet?
About the Author:
Eric Riddle has been a lifelong packrat. His mantra has been: I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Working in customer service and sales has given Eric a deeper view of human nature. He understands, given all the clutter in our lives, that our concerns demand unique answers. Eric believes clutter is a reflection of life. Recent events led him to face the clutter in his own life with a new perspective. Getting your mind out of the clutter is an ongoing process.
As a STUFFologist (visit STUFFology101.com), Eric helps people clear the clutter from their lives. STUFFology is the art or practice of getting rid of STUFF we define as CLUTTER. Cluttergories include: Physical, Mental, Digital, Temporal, and Sensual. He has the ability to empathize and help others to achieve their goals.
In his spare time, Eric likes reading, attending Toastmasters, watching movies, and playing with his dogs.
He lives in California with his wife, daughter, and their four legged friends.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter Print Edition at Amazon
Link to Buy STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy STUFFology 101: Get Your Mind Out of the Clutter On Amazon
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