Perhaps you’ve read a version of what was originally titled, “The Star Thrower”, which was published in 1969, by anthropologist/philosopher/writer
Loren Eiseley, as part of an essay.
This version was found on Wikipedia, and apparently it doesn’t violate anyone’s copyright. I’ve seen it with and without the final paragraph.
As you read the story, think of your clutter as the overwhelming number of Starfish on the beach. As the young lady in the story kept at her task of making a difference to as many Starfish as possible, you too can make a difference to how you live in and enjoy your home. Just keep trying, keep working at it, and know that your consistent actions ARE making a difference.
Enjoy The Star Thrower:
An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing, but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”
“But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, paused, and then bent down, picked up an other starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, “It made a difference for that one.”
The old man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.