Monday, September 1, 2008

Defining a Clean House

Why can't my house stay clean? Why do piles of stuff seem to grow over night on every level surface? Part of my problem is I have no organization and too much stuff.

When we moved into this house we came from a much smaller place and we had rooms that had no furniture in them at all. Now all the rooms are furnished and in some cases, very pleasantly decorated where things actually appear to go together. But I have too much stuff that has no permanent place. Mostly I just have too much clutter.

Definition: clut·ter n. A confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble

This describes my house and how we live. I do try and make order of our home. I try to find a place for everything and everything in its place but would mean I had a place for everything. I do a lot of "let me put this here until I know where it really should go" or what we like to call "the safe place".

Definition: safe adj place n. Affording protection

We have many safe places in our house. Most of these are unknown to us. They were once a part of our memory but due to our enormous store of useless knowledge we seem to have permanent installed in our brains, we have no more room for other things. This useless knowledge comes in handy for showing off playing trivia games. My husband is especially good at knowing the most random facts about obscure things but he can never find his wallet which he had 30 minutes ago.

I have tried to create a place for "the safe place" like a drawer or shelf or box, but it then becomes the everything place and is no longer thought of as a "safe place" and quickly forgotten about.

Definition: lat·er n. Sometime is the future, never clearly defined as to what length of time this could be.

When we were frantically cleaning the house to make it ready for guests before the wedding, we ran out of places for everything and we started boxing things up for "later". I have a garage and a bedroom full of for "later" boxes and bags. These will sit sometimes for years until we have time to sort thru them. Then its like opening a Christmas present. I found a box recently. It was a "later" box. It was stored in a recently discovered "safe place". (My house is like an archaeological dig, with great shouts of "Eureka, I found it!") This box had been hiding since 1999 or so. It was full of memorabilia from our trip to Hawaii. I wanted to sift thru this plethora of great stuff but I was too busy. So I returned it to its "safe place", preserving the area for future generations to discover and marvel at this great find.

I am planning a trip to IKEA soon. IKEA is a haven for the storage conscious. They have so many options to choose from and I love to check them all out and bring a few home. My favorite solution to the clutter is to attractively house it in a drawer, on a shelf, in a box or a basket. And you know those socially conscious raising reusable shopping bags? They are the best for the "hurry, company is in the driveway and the clutter needs a home" solution. These are easily shoved into a closet or that last tiny space in the garage.

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