# Back to School: the Math of Clutter

Fun with Math! Creative equations and problems for those of you who find the traditional rules hard to remember. Clutter and logic are not what we might call close friends, anyway.

Less = Less

Less stuff = Less you have to look after

Less stuff = Less space you need in a home to hold it all

Less mess = Less stress

Less = More

Fewer things you purchase = More money left in your wallet

Fewer commitments = More relaxation

Fewer things on your desk = More room to work comfortably

Creative puzzle #1

Bob’s house has a two-car garage. Bob’s family own one car and four bicycles. How many vehicles fit in Bob’s garage?

Answer: Um, depends on the season. The garage is mostly filled with boxes that have been there since Bob moved in three years ago. In the winter, the bikes squeeze in between- or on top of- the boxes. In the summer, when they are used more often, it’s easier to leave them outside. The car has never been in the garage. But at least there are no oil spots on the floor!

Creative puzzle #2

On Monday, Betty set two pieces of mail on the dining room table. Tuesday through Friday, she added the same amount each day. How many pieces of paper are on the table at the end of the week?

Answer: Too many to count. Papers are not added; they multiply. Once Betty’s family saw the mail on the table, they figured that’s where all papers belonged, so they dropped their things there too. Now the top of the table is barely visible. Cancel the Sunday dinner.

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