"Ask yourself, 'Who are those things for?' " says Webb Keane, a cultural anthropologist with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, Calif. "If they are for other people, do these things help forge relationships with them or merely try to impress them? If the latter, that's clutter. If they are for you, are they part of who you are or someone you would like to become? Not clutter. Do they give you pleasure? Not clutter. Relics of a purchase that you thought would give you pleasure? Or waiting to become a pleasure someday, if you had the time, paid more attention, were a better person? Clutter."
"Spiritually, clutter is old, heavy, dark energy," says feng shui master Linda Lenore of Menlo Park, Calif. "Organizing it allows the neurotransmitters in your mind to easily relay information, so instead of having a dial-up modem mind, you have high-speed cable connection."
RECLAIMED: Drawers that roll out from beneath the bed make good use of hidden, otherwise wasted space.; CONTAINED: Attractive sliding doors conceal a laundry area and its clutter of cleaning products.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Taunton Press; SERENE: The multiple doors and drawers of an elegant tansu can conceal items as varied as CDs and craft supplies.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Rockport Publishers