Thirty Eight: A Date with my Clutter

“Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.”   – Christina Scalise

I wish I could be inspired by one of the many witty and sarcastic quotes about clutter, but I found myself far too superstitious to lead this post with Wendell Berry’s advice, “Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”

When all is said and done, I am quite stodgy and serious about my clutter issues. I believe that a person’s clutter is one of the quickest routes to looking deep into someone’s psyche. What is he afraid of? Who is she refusing to let go of? How is this family hiding behind possessions they no longer use together? My clutter habit is to get half-way through the organization leaving piles of books like a mole leaves piles of turned-up dirt. Then my husband gets tired of looking at the piles, and he stuffs it into my closet or out of sight for me to re-organize at a later time. It is a comically infinite loop of piling and re-piling. So many piles. So little momentum to find the place where something really should go. I need time and space to sort through the muddle until I have the clarity and vision for how my things will all piece together. I think I am a tad too invested in the aesthetics of my home.

Tonight my husband will be helping out at a music event which will leave my evening free and the house quiet. After the kids have fallen asleep I will climb the stairs to the loft where my challenge awaits. The space is an adult-only space. My husband has a special collection of books and art to inspire  him, as well as his LP. I have taken command of the desk space and gathered collage items, yarns, threads, papers, and more alongside my sewing machine and computer. It is an area that gets out of hand because it also neighbors our storage space; yep, there is always a pile of things to be out away sitting in front of the door.

My incentive is to have a clean creative space – a blank slate where I won’t be distracted by some tsotchke or unfinished project. I want a place where I start a project and finish it. Right now, I spend more time organizing my creative spaces than I do creating, and that’s a problem. I am excited to do this and start moving forwards!



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