From Simpler Living by Jeff Davidson, mentioned earlier in this blog, I'm finding absolute gems. He breaks down every single part of life, your house, your work, and describes how to simplify them and gain control. But he also analyzes WHY we often have the problems. I think that is the best part! (The underlining below for emphasis is mine.) His down-to-earth, one-step-at-a-time approach to resolving each problem is very, very clear. I love this book.
The following is from Chapter 2 in the book, "Some General Principles":
No Ad Hoc Piles
In every life, some piles will accumulate. A basic step in making your life simpler is to confront the piles in your life head-on with a take-no-prisoners attitude. These piles include stacks of magazines, newspapers, bills, reports, documents, certificates, notices from your child's school, homework, photographs, and much more. It you haven't notices already, such piles can accumulate in a hurry. A couple of issues of a magazine, some coupons you clipped from the newspaper, a single day's worth of mail, some flyers left by your door, the electric bill that came in a couple days ago, and poof - you have a pile.
Piles, by their nature, represent complexity. The higher the stack and more diverse the elements composing it, the ore complexity the pile represents. Don't be surprised if some researcher finds a link between the incidence of heart disease and number of piles one accumulates. Piles represent unfinished business and, therefore, a lack of completion of one's affairs. Each pile that you encounter registers in your brain, if only for a nanosecond at a time, as more stuff that you haven't handled.