My current method of cleaning up before bed involves trying to do doing as little as possible. Just ask my husband.

I know I will feel better in the morning if the house looks nicer. But, at the end of the day I don’t want to do more things.

Basically, I survey the house and try to grab all the things that I don’t want Charlotte to get into. When I get up in the morning there is much blind stumbling about in a pre-coffee haze. Inevitably she is rummaging through my wallet, or running away with my keys, or….

Favorite example: we have a built-in wall vacuum system. There are holes thought the house that the vacuum hose plugs into. Vacuum goes wall, dirt goes poof. It’s crazy. The holes are about the size of a plum. Charlotte discovered that she can put things in these holes. We discovered that things that go in the vacuum wall holes do not come out.

And that is the story of the mail key debacle of 2013. And this is why we don’t have nice things. Moving on.

When I’m cleaning thought the day I methodically violently, hurl items towards their proper rooms and then hope that eventually I get them into the room they belong and put away. This is often wishful thinking. I also will hide things. In bags, boxes, closets, drawers. Once I got smart and bought a giant container and called it the “scary bin.” If it didn’t have a home it went in the bin. If I hadn’t needed it in 6 months it was to leave my house. It kind of worked. Upside: The clutter was hidden. Downside: I had to move a giant bin of crap when I relocated.

I know a lot about clutter. I have read about it, tossed it, organized it, hid it, sold it, and given it away. I have made great strides in getting rid of crap in my life that I don’t need or want anymore. However, I was raised to keep things. For “just in case.” What if I need it later? For sentimental reasons. But it was a gift/ belonged to someone/ reminded me of something that belonged to someone/ had good memories/ was my favorite / is Star Wars memorabilia. Also, I do actually like having, well, things. Sometimes it is nice to have material positions. And pants. It is almost always good to have pants. How else would people know if you were lying without flaming pants? [sidebar: the German word for fire is Feuer but if you say “The pants were on fire” the word changes to Brand As in die Hosen waren in Brand. Also something “on fire” in French isn’t en flambĂ© as you might guess because that actually means to first douse in liquor and then set fire to something.]

Here are my two main issues with clutter and putting things away:

1. Not having a place for everything.
2. Not knowing where to put unfinished projects.

How do you clean up at the end of the day? How do you declutter? What is your favorite cooking show? (Just to see if you are still with me.)

Lessons learned today

Pants = very yes.
Even in Seoul, there is clutter.
Don’t let your kid put your mail key in the vacuum wall hole.
Languages are awesome.
Please come to my house before bed time and clean up.


5 thoughts on “Clutter

  1. I think when people say they have clutter, they like that they can be lazy about it. I hate putting stuff in boxes and trying to heft it out of the door, but it becomes a necessary evil. I’m trying not to bring in that stuff any more. Best wishes!!

    • I get overwhelmed and stick my head in the sand. It gets to be too much. I can’t figure out where to start. Or how to begin. I can’t imagine finishing anything and since there is so much to do I will never be done. This causes me to have a very real anxiety attack. And yeah. I’m also lazy.

  2. My unfinished projects generally go on the dining room chair (I think about 75% of people are with me on that one, no?), on the office chair or under the couch.

  3. I really like the idea of under the couch. I may start that. Most of mine end up on the table. I need a solution that is toddler proof.

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