Letter to Oprah | Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Letter to Oprah

I am quite fond of O, The Oprah Magazine.

I particularly love Martha Beck’s witty, well-written suggestions for improving our mental and emotional health. In March, for example, she provides us with a list of things we should stop worrying about, like our to-do lists. “Instead of fretting about getting everything done, why not simply accept that being alive means having things to do?”

I can relate to this, because I often find it impossible to relax, with my current “to-dos” running through my brain at a furious pace. I have to remind myself that the list is always growing, and I will never actually be “done.”

In all of the years I have been reading Oprah's magazine, I have never written a letter to the editor. Now, I just might do so. I discovered something new about myself while reading the March issue, which focuses on de-cluttering our lives. Apparently, despite my best attempts at organizing my home, I can be classified as a “knowledge clutterer.”

I laughed when I saw the photo that accompanied the description of the knowledge clutterer. Here it is:

And, here is my bedside table:

While my books are not stacked on the bedside table, they are stacked beside it, on the floor, in a very large pile. My husband and I are both book lovers, and we have run out of shelves to accommodate all our books.
Oprah's organizing expert, Peter Walsh, suggests replacing at least some of your book pile with an e-reader.  I have to say I am a bit horrified by the suggestion. For me, nothing beats the sensation of cracking open a good old paper book.
While I try to keep an organized home, I feel that a home should reflect the interests and lifestyles of the people who live there. I’m not saying my pile of books is ideal, but they make me happy when I look at them, even if I never get the time to read them.
You can read more about the knowledge clutterer and other types of clutterers on Oprah’s website.
Full disclosure: My bedside table is usually much more cluttered on top. I removed items and dusted before taking this photo. In addition, I had to shift some other books out of the way (on the floor) to be able to take the shot. Clearly another item for my to-do list!
What kind of clutterer are you? Or, maybe you aren't a clutterer (which is just weird).


  1. My clutter is tucked into a room full of junk. I have a hard time getting rid of items that I think I may use in a project.

    1. I get it, because once you get rid of something, you think of a reason to use it!