Now there’s a topic that most people know something about. I say ‘most people’ because I know there are some of you who never, ever, allow clutter to accumulate. I actually know people like that. I’m humbled in their presence; amazed by their discipline. And usually mortified when they visit unannounced. They are generally people who perhaps do things, but don’t make things. They don’t fiddle. Nevermind. This is not about them; it’s about me, and probably some of you.
I’m not talking about anything disgusting here. It’s not dirt that’s at issue. Or banana peels under the bed; I left that behind when my sons grew up. Or at least when they left home. It’s the piles of papers, books, magazines, bits of fabric, assorted pencils, boxes of photos, tools, patterns, popsicle sticks, whatever, that collect. I sometimes feel as though I am living at the heart of the Cosmic Cupboard. Well, I’m not so arrogant as to think I’m at the Centre of the Universe; maybe it’s a Branch Office of the Cosmic Cupboard. Except that I don’t seem to re-distribute the flotsam and jetsom that surrounds me.
In recent weeks I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking, working on my book (I’m on the last chapter!), and writing the ‘lenses’ for the squidoo challenge I’ve mentioned before. Things have been piling up around me while I write. I probably have something to do with it, but I can’t say for sure as I never can remember just how things got where they are. More significantly, I can’t seem to find things that I think I know where they should be. I’ve decided to not be alarmed about the forgetfulness issue; I think I got that from my son. No, I think it’s just that my brain has become too cluttered. So I said to myself, “Self, it’s time to de-clutter your life.” Now, that’s a tall order!
To my credit, I’ve been somewhat systematic about it. I started with having my handyman/gardener help clean out under the deck; then I started on the garage/workshop. That required some help to move some of the bigger things, so when my brother-in-law, Roger, and wife Sandie were here they helped with some of that, and my son, Randy and grandsons, Ryan and Rhys (and possibly Brendan) helped clear out some more. The garage/workshop is not finished, but is now manageable. Roger also helped clear out under the house where I normally parked two cars, and where Nigel used to do all his plant propagation work, and general garden stuff. It was a mess. So Rog helped with that, especially helpful was buying one of the cars, which opened up a whole new area of possibilities . . . So I’m feeling much less bothered by the outdoor-type clutter. I should tell you here that the best tip I can give anyone who is wanting or needing to do a similar job is to have a skip delivered. I don’t know what it’s called elsewhere, but a skip is a huge rubbish bin (this one was 3 cu metres). It was just the trigger I needed to get on with the task. First, it gave me a place to throw stuff (so I was less likely to keep things I shouldn’t), and it gave me an incentive, as I needed to fill it before it was picked up. Having that skip was perfect.
But none of that really helped to de-clutter my brain. I’m thrilled to bits to have it all done, but my brain was/is still in a muddle. So on Saturday I tackled the real enemy: my study. What a trip through memoryland that was! My own personal memoryland is filled with Good Intentions. A few of those were resurrected; most were laid to rest. R.I.P. The job is not finished, but at least I’ve reduced a few piles of papers. Filing is such a mind-numbing job, but the end product is so liberating.
A word about Before and After photos: don’t. At least, I don’t. I reckon if something is bad enough to warrant a before and after series, it is bad enough to keep it to myself. I really don’t want anyone to know just how bad things were. Would you? But for the sake of being a good blogsport, I’ve taken a couple shots of some piles of clutter yet to be dealt with in my study. Multiply those a couple times (I’ll leave it to you to guess how many times you should multiply it.) and you’ll get the idea.
Oh. About the brain clutter. Anyone have any suggestions about how to tidy that up? Please? MM