Thursday, August 9, 2007


Long, long ago, my cousin Shirley used to tell me about the house they had owned in New Jersey. We were both living in Evanston, IL at the time. Her description of trying to clean that house stays with me today. There was alway so much dirt, she said. You could suck it out from between the floorboards with a vacuum cleaner, or scrub it out with a brush and water, but still, there was always more dirt, as if the house was actually producing the dirt and releasing it through the floorboards. Good basis for a horror movie, I think.

Our house is the same way, but it is not dirt so much as clutter, and it is not the house that has produced this situation, but us, the owners and caretakers of the house, who have allowed it to fill up with stuff. Still, when I clean, declutter, and toss stuff out, the remaining stuff seems to de-compress and take up more space. Last week, I hired someone to haul away a dump truck full of stuff. It made barely a dent.

I am going to persist though. De-clutter sites on the web suggest allotting a mere, but consistent 15 minutes a day to the task. Sounds like a plan.


cellodonna said...

Clutter! ... I know what you mean.

We've been in our present house for almost 30 years. Stuff grows and multiplies over the years. Hobbies, interests, working at home, raising kids, -- it all adds up to clutter.

I once bought a book on getting organized. It's lost in the attic.

Now that my daughter just got married, she comes over and carries out a carload of her stuff a few times a week. I'm hoping that starts to make a difference.

Maricello said...

Good luck on decluttering, Donna. That is one of the problems of clutter--loosing things and having to buy another one, just because you can't find the first one, thus adding to the problem!

Laura said...

I'm trying to convince myself that all the material contents of one's life should not be considered clutter, unless of course it blocks path to the refrigerator or other place that must receive multiple visits from me per day. As an example, the belongings of my life now reside mostly in one room, waiting to be either displayed, combined with my partner's, filed or shredded, or packed away forever in the attic. This is due, as you know, to my recent move. It is dramatic, I know, but I can now walk into the extra room and say, "Here is my life," stowed away into some forty-odd Rubbermaid tubs. Now the clutter is merely condensed and can't fly around. So, we go on and fill up more tubs, or consolidate two into one. This is why we seek further knowledge in life - to be able to rearrange everything at any time - even when it really doesn't need that sort of tending too.

Maricello said...

Oh, but your possessions, Laura, are not clutter. For one thing, they are neatly boxed. :-)

You are in the process of rearranging your life, in a glorious and healthful way, and you have a wonderful opportunity to re-organize everything from scratch, like that tv show, "Clean Sweep," where they take everything out of your rooms and put it on the front lawn. Then you have to justify its re-entrance into your house. An excellent way to clean!

I was sitting here spell-checking a very long index on early American tools, listening to my recording of our early music rehearsal last night, thinking, I should be practicing. No, wait, let me check the blogger mail. And there was your comment. I was reading it when my husband walked in, bearing a bowl of soup for lunch, and saying, "We should get together with Laura and Fritz." Clearing a spot for the soup, I found the sheet music CD that Fritz made, and that I had been unsuccessfully searching for and just on the verge of asking for a duplicate. Finally, I returned to my index. The spellcheck had stopped on the word "Fritz." And not just any Fritz, Fritz Kreisler! In this publication on early American tools. Very interesting coincidences, don't you think? We need to get together as soon as I return from fiddle camp!