I just read an awesome blog post by a Canadian writer, a tongue-in-cheek take on de-cluttering. Or the opposite, really. Anyway, it made me laugh and it made me think about the literal piles of stuff accumulating directly behind me as I sit here writing.
Because we brought all our worldly goods with us when we moved into this little house in need of massive work, most of our stuff has been piled up in corners somewhere while other corners get reno’d. This little room, that is supposed to be my writing room/guest space, is just one big unredeemed ‘corner’. I keep my guitar and my ukuleles floating safely near the top of the heap, but recently when my husband decided to take up his guitar again, it was a dangerous dig in avalanche country. Him single-mindedly going for his guitar case, me breathlessly interjecting helpful things like:
‘um, you can’t step on that!’
‘Erg! You have to come at it from the other side!’
‘Catch it! CATCH IT!’
‘Sloooowly . . . yikes!’
This clutter is a problem since we’re hoping that
one or both of the boys (my adult step-sons) will come to visit at Christmas time. The slush pile that is the back half of this room is being held up by the fold-out couch that is our guest bed. It all needs to be shifted . . . somewhere. And today is the 25th of November. Christmas is December 25th. If you have a reno hoard of your own, you understand the problem.
Moving to a bigger house seems easier, but it’s not feasible. So there’s nothing for it, we’ll just have to do the dreaded de-clutter. Now, I could declutter his stuff quickly and efficiently and I know he’d love to take a crack at mine. But the first rule of a happy marriage is Thou Shalt Not Touch Thy Spouse’s Hoard, No Matter How Ridiculous It Seems To You.
We did that once, a long time ago during renos at our previous condo (can you believe we survived this once and then actually took it on again!) Hubby was determined that my sundry fixer-upper finds had to go, I was just as determined that his pile of banana boxes full of model building kits had to be reduced. He continued to stuff my things into bags so I picked up a couple of his boxes. Showdown at OK coral. And we dropped it all off at the Salvation Army in stoney silence.
We had more space.
It did not feel good.
As I look at the mountain behind me, I know one thing, I don’t want a repeat of clutter-gate. But I also know that it has to be dealt with. So I think I’m going to start by just removing the garbage (and there is always literal garbage that makes you scratch your head and say ‘why didn’t I just throw that out in the first place?’) Then I’ll sort it into piles – but none of that ‘give away’ crap! My homesick heart just can’t take it right now. I’m talking organizing, like ‘musical instruments’, ‘decorative pillows’, ‘reno supplies’, ‘delinquent bookkeeping!’ Then I’ll box it up neatly and stash it in the cellar (except the bookkeeping, that should probably be dealt with.) Neatly. ‘Neatly’ might be my limit right now. ‘Neatly’ will be my goal.