September 29th, 2005

Arrggghh! I can't stand it anymore! My mess has taken over our apartment -- piles of papers (documents, receipts, bills, CD's, DVD's, and I think I just saw something with lots of legs moving among the clumps on my desk). It's too much. I am trying to accept myself as I am, but this much messiness invalidates my self, and encumbers the two other beautiful selves who live with me (not counting our pet cornsnake, Snakey, or that thing I possibly just saw skittering nearby) with an unacceptable burden of visual and practical static. ...

I first encountered the concept of entropy during my freshman year of college, while I was busily flunking physics. One thing that did stick was that entropy = disorder (or maybe that entropy = the tendency toward disorder -- can you begin to see why I flunked?). In a closed system, things will tend toward disorder unless you add energy.

Here's an example: your bedroom. Your bed, once made, will, during the normal course of things, become unmade. That will just happen. However, your unmade bed will not, in the normal course of things, re-make itself. For your bed to become made, in the closed system of your room, you (or your enabler) must add energy; i.e., someone must do the work of making the bed. And if somebody wants, God forbid, "hospital corners" ... well, that requires even more energy.

Physicists have a formula that precisely describes the relationship between matter, energy, and entropy. Normally, I would now quickly switch to another screen on my browser and try to Google my way to that very formula, then come back here and insert it as if I'd held it in my head all these years. But this is a time of crisis, and I must try to maintain my ... um ... oh yeah, my focus. (I do remember, by the way, that physicists represent entropy with a capital S -- but not, heaven help me, why!)

I have, in the past, purchased -- and sometimes even read -- books about How To Get Organized. I have read a book by an organizer Oprah likes, and also by an organizer who believes that perhaps I am using just one side of my brain (which would explain quite a lot). I have even bought a deck of inspirational cards, each of which has an organizing tip. I lost it. I also may have lost some of the books as well. I don't know. I'm afraid to look under the white sheets that my wife has placed over some of my huger mess-piles, so as not to freak out our son's piano teacher when he visits. ...

This is my new plan: I am going to try to hire a "clutter coach." I don't really have the money, but I don't care -- and who knows, maybe I do have some money and it's under one of the sheets, or maybe it's being eaten by that possible insect on my desk. But this entropic condition must be dealt with.

Right after I check my emails. ...

Entry Filed under: let's digress


  • 1. Julie Bernstein  |  September 29th, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    If you have success in decluttering let me know – Ziggy and I are dealing with the exact same problem in our apartment.

  • 2. Travis  |  October 3rd, 2005 at 12:15 pm

    I know what you mean. I’ve got the same problems. I gotta get organized. Little things, like my apartment, my possessions. I should get one of those signs that says, ‘One of These Days I’m Gonna Get Organizized.’

  • 3. Noelle  |  October 4th, 2005 at 7:44 am

    You could have the clutter coach on the show, like on Oprah. One woman had not cleaned her house for 2 years,it was a warning for all us clutterers to change our ways. I’m trying. We just moved and now we have to figure new ways of storing the stuff.

  • 4. Josh Kornbluth  |  October 15th, 2005 at 2:06 pm

    Actually, I’ve hired a clutter coach (named Agnes). As she puts it, “I learned organizing in Germany!” — sounds good to me. She’s coming over Tuesday — my apartment and I are hoping for the best!

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