When Ella from Notes from Home made a call this week for her Friday Carnival to be about clutter, I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
You see, since CC started training for her 11+ (and yes, I do mean training), and then I started training for my marathon (its in about ten days now-eek!), and in between all that we replaced all of the windows in the house, and whilst we are away for my marathon, the whole house will be painted, necessitating a lot of pre-painting house maintenance - you can see that there will not be much time for organising clutter. Did I mention I work 32 hours a week with a 2hr daily commute ? When am I supposed to organise ? In my sleep ? I'm laughing to myself right now because I am thinking about the new film with Sarah Jessica-Parker (that I plan to see on Friday), where she cannot sleep and you see her writing her mental lists along the walls, as she goes through all of the items on her 'to-do' list. I guess I'm a bit like that.
You know what, I don't have a problem with clutter per se, but I do have a problem with firstly, not being able to find things, and secondly, with things being clean (relatively). I think we all have different tolerance levels in these areas. I have one friend with two children whose home, through my eyes, is like a show home. It is lovely, but I know that we could not live like that. Likewise, she could not sit and type as I am now in eye-shot of the biggest pile or ironing that I think I have ever seen. No joke.
Which links in nicely with the cleaning/ironing/clutter thing. The reason the ironing pile is SO large, well it's not a high priority to be honest, also I would rather have clean ironing waiting to done than dirty clothes festering away all week. I know some people have a 'wash day' where they wash, dry, iron, put away all in one day, but I could not have dirty clothes around for a week. I just couldn't. We also get through a lot of clothes with work clothes, casual clothes, running clothes, yoga clothes, swimming towels. I would be drowning under it all in no time. It's not like I don't iron, it's just that at the moment it barely makes a dent... Ho hum... My mother-in-law used to do my ironing, mainly to occupy her time after my father-in-law, the love of her life, passed away, but I'm a control freak and shipping my clothes to her house was a real pain. I was so ungrateful, but grateful at the same time. My work tops were OCD-origami-folded when I'm a hang-it-up freak, so sometimes 'ironed' clothes would have to go straight back on the ironing pile to be re-ironed at a later date. Or, items would be ironed not inside out, leaving iron marks on them, which I could not then wear to work. Straight back in the washng machine with them! In the end, I would filter out my clothes, and just send BB's and CC's because I felt so guilty about the origami folding and the iron marks and the wasting of someone else's time. It was a relief if I'm honest when MIL said she didn't want to iron any more. First, my guilt was gone, and most importantly it meant MIL was finding new friends.
I mentioned earlier that I have a problem with not being able to find things, it drives me crazy trying to find things, so I do believe that everything should have it's place. I know some people that have pared their homes to nothing, got rid of possesssions and books and trinkets, and clutter, but I like my things and my books, and I don't want to get rid of them. BB likes his running and triathlon magazines, and his bikes (we have quite a few bikes, CC has 3 alone, and now BB wants a new mountain bike!) but generally I know where most things are most of the time, which works for me.
One tip I can offer, which I don't yet practise, but I will do when I next organise my linen cupboard(!) is from a friend who is mega-organized with an immaculate home, she folds her bedding sets and places them in one of the pillow cases, then when she comes to make a bed she just has to pull out the pillow case and everything she needs is neatly folded inside. No crazily searching for matching pillow cases and the like, and that sounds good to me.
Some of you may know that we have a lovely house in France (well, it will be lovely one day), and I am trying to not let that get cluttered and so far winning the big fight. This does mean though that whenever I return from there, I start a new 'Things to take to France' pile, and then there's my 'Things I plan to eBay pile'. My house sounds like a nightmare doesn't it. It's not as bad as it sounds.
My final tip dear friends is do not procrastinate, if you have decided to declutter or get rid of something then do not procrastinate over it, sell it, recycle it, bin it and get rid of it.
Keep the things you love, and love the things you have.