Do you know how to spell miscellaneous?  Well, without looking at the word in the previous sentence?

Next question, do you have a miscellaneous file?  What about a drawer or box labeled ‘miscellaneous’?  Hmmm…this is not good.  Miscellaneous is a fabulous word for a spelling bee…but that’s about it.  Want to argue about it?  I’ll go first:

I will never forget how to spell the word miscellaneous because it was on a kitchen drawer at our church - and I remember seeing it in my head when I was in a spelling bee one time…so it’s imprinted there.  Naturally, in that drawer was every mismatched item from the kitchen - and it was impossible to find anything in there because of the way things were tossed in.  It was labeled as the “miscellaneous” drawer, so of course, that’s where people who were working in the church kitchen threw things that they could not decide where to put (or where they put things that they didn’t take the time to figure out where to put!)

So, regardless of whether you can spell the word or not, here are two definitions for miscellaneous:

  • constituting a grab-bag category
  • consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds (even to the point of incongruity)

Let me ask you “Are these the way you want your person and professional areas to be defined?”

When I looked up the word ‘miscellaneous’ on the website My Favorite Thesaurus, here are some of the synonyms listed:

  • assorted
  • mixed
  • motley
  • sundry

I’ll ask again, “Are these words that you want to have as descriptive of your work or personal areas - which represent your life?”  I really hope the answer is ‘No.’

While it’s not within the range of possibility within one article to completely change your life, I would posit that making it a ‘rule,’ ‘policy,’ or ‘practice’ not to label anything as miscellaneous when you are decreasing your clutter will make a difference in your overall sense of self. Just a thought…

What’s a step you can take now (besides vowing never to label anything else as ‘miscellaneous’?  Look around your workplace, garage, kitchen, closets, storage unit, or any other place where ‘stuff’ is kept.  If you find a drawer, box, cabinet, or other container labeled with the word ‘miscellaneous’ (or its shortened MISC), do one of the following:

  1. Toss everything in that container.  I know that’s radical, but the truth is, you probably don’t even know what is in there so you wouldn’t miss it; or
  2. Take everything out of the container and make the decision about what each item actually is.  If you need to keep it, then give it a real home.  If you don’t even know what it is or why anyone would want it, put it in the trash, recycling, or a give-away box.

Remember those words assorted, mixed, motley, haphazard, sundry…and make sure you have a work and personal space that isn’t described by any of them.

declutterAnd if you’d like more ideas to help you find balance in your space you will want to access the Get a Plan! Guide® to De-clutter & De-stress: A Dozen Ways to Decrease Your Clutter and Decrease Your Stress. This Get a Plan! Guide® will help you learn a dozen specific ways to start dealing deliberately with your clutter – and then experiencing a reduction in your stress.

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