Cluttery Messes

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I broke down and bought it today. I keep hearing about this book and how it is supposed to change your life. I have several friends who have purchased in, read it, and actually started practicing the principles and swear it’s a real thing.

We shall see.

I don’t think of myself as a cluttery person. But because I just made up the word cluttery I very well may be just that. Cluttery.

My house is a cluttered mess. Not in the places you can see, mind you. No, I work very hard to keep public spaces free of clutter. My family is another story. To say I live with hoarders would be putting it mildly. My people really like to save things. All things. Receipts, ticket stubs, tags from pants, shoe boxes, carnival wrist bands….I could go on and on and on. The funny thing (if you call me pulling my hair out and screaming funny) is that the most common place for all this clutter would be the kitchen counter to the right of the sink and the first four steps on the stairwell. They walk in the house and lay things down and say, “I’ll put that away later.”

Later is generally the night before our cleaning crew comes and I’m running through the house like a mad woman screaming,”These ladies work so hard to clean our house and we owe it to them to put our stuff away so they can do their job!” The night before they come is always fun.

Every day I do a sweep through of the house, handing things to my people, asking them to put it where it belongs. Sometimes I don’t ask and I just pitch. I pitch things like Scholastic Reader sales fliers. I pitch Wendy’s receipts. I pitch folded up Band-aids. I find the strangest things in the strangest of places. That’s the stuff that can be swept away quickly if friends are coming over.  That is not the clutter to which I truly speak.

The clutter which I deny, the stuff that makes me cluttery when I don’t want to be cluttery is in the closets. Our closets and our pantries and our attic spaces are a mess. I mean a total mess. The junk, the garbage, the storage of who-knows-what is about to make me go insane. We moved into this house almost eleven years ago. There are boxes in the attic that we moved in and never opened.  We have a closet in our upstairs guest room that was truly a selling point to me when we bought this house. It’s a closet people dream about owning.

I. Can’t. Step. Inside.

Oh my word. It made my chest clench to just type those words. There is shame in messes hiding. I had a counselor tell me,  years ago, that the secret messes we keep (in closets or in desks) are indicative of our heart and mind. If that is truly the case then my heart and mind are cluttered with 14 boxes of baseball cards and one thousand pictures in black and white from my family. Pictures I couldn’t even begin to tell you anything about or who the faces belong to. It means my heart and mind are cluttered with half empty rolls of old Christmas wrap and 502 plastic Easter eggs.  It means old Halloween costumes and dollhouse furniture are looming in my deepest places.

Or maybe it’s what those things represent. I don’t know.

I’m going to attempt to tackle this book though and see if I can’t make some sense of the nooks and crannies of my house. And maybe if that happens my heart and mind will follow.

I’ll keep you posted.



(This is my 17th post in a 31 day writing challenge that started way back here. The community of Write 31 Days is an amazing place to find support for writing; as are the Clumsy Bloggers who have joined me in this journey.)

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