Pet Snakes and Paper Clutter



While wandering through my head one day, thinking about paper clutter, the following occurred to me after working with a particular home organizing client. A couple of my clients (including the one in mind) have kept "pet" snakes among their "collections". Unlike the rest of the accumulations, the snake isn’t usually considered part of the excess, though I wonder about that…

 Pet just doesn’t mesh well in my mind with snake. Pet evokes images of cuddly, furry, warm creatures, alternately comforting and/or amusing us as we interact with them through daily life. We speak of loving our pets, as if they were people. Not so the snakes. I haven’t heard that kind of sentimental talk about them yet. Announcing that you keep one elicits a broad range of responses, generally negative; in fact, “aversion” seems mild for the most common reaction. As for usefulness or entertainment value, I must just accept that it’s “different strokes for different folks.”

But you’re probably wondering what possible connection this discussion has to home organizing or paper clutter… It is just this—I find several interesting parallels between the good management of both household paper (clutter) and pet snakes. So far, my observation of pet snake handling reveals some consistency on the following points:

  • The “pets” are always closely confined to a very specific area;

  • They are not permitted to slither about anywhere they please, wriggling across any old horizontal surface at whim;

  • Regular cleaning of their containers is a must, or the result is fairly unpleasant;

  • If they do by chance escape their confines, rapid and serious effort is made to collect and restore them to their designated space;

  • If and when their usefulness ends (i.e., they die…or the kids outgrow their fascination with the game), out they go.

So, my recommendation for controlling paper (i.e., avoid paper clutter) is…handle it like a pet snake.

Copyright © 2011 Stephanie Bucci


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