Let’s appreciate the fact that, as I sat down to read an article about how I, personally, am conquering clutter, my living room looked like the photo at left. “This is a fun house where no one ever sleeps!” the children said. It took me a minute to realize they were talking about the fort-from-chairs thing they were building, because this [Julie waves her arms generally at house around her] is a fun house where no one ever sleeps.
Yes, ha ha, Dave and my mom (who was visiting) and I all had a hearty laugh over the fact that I am featured in an article on decluttering. The fact is that I am a cluttered person by nature, a pack rat who often finds herself in Goodwill with an armload of cute-but-impractical shoes and small pottery pitchers (and who often then has to say, out loud, “Put it back, Julie”) (thus ensuring that I am a hypocritical decluttering expert who also talks to herself).
I told Dave, “Well, maybe I am more of a real declutterer, you know? Because I am really dealing with it, every day.” He looked skeptical.
It’s just awfully hard to stay clutter free with so many humans in the house who not only make general messes of what’s already there, but also bring in all kinds of new clutter (such as the daily possibly-genius-should-I-save-it art projects). And I have now spent every day post-Christmas walking around in tiny little circles, a new gift toy of some kind in my hand, as I revolve slowly, trying to figure out where this new thing goes.
The key is to stay on top of it. Clutter breeds clutter, and before you know it all of the little piles have hatched into sub-piles and they are marching across the counter and spilling onto the floors. I have to get rid of things daily, or else the piles start to stage a revolution, and they drag down the mood of the whole house, until we’re all suddenly beating back large grey clouds of gloom that can only be removed by taking a large black garbage bag around the house and filling it with junk. I try to deal with it before it gets to that point.