Thursday, August 24, 2006

Clutterella and the four furballs of the Apocalypse

One of the blogs I read daily is Crazy Aunt Purl. She is soooooo funny and adorable, and I've stolen her blog title because I think it's so good. In fact, most of her blog entry today so applies to me that I've shamelessly pinched the whole idea. Damn! Why don't I come up with these great ideas? Maybe because I blog more about art than personal stuff, cos that's what I think my readers are interested in.

Annnnnnnyway, here's my take on clutter and cleaning - an issue that I know is dear to many an artist's heart:

Dear People Who Clean House A Lot,
Want to come over? And clean house in a new, exciting place that has interesting, exotic wildlife and many nooks and crannies?
I have wine.
Your friend, Shirley

What has happened to my house? I blame my fallen housekeeping standards on my prolonged stay of houseboundness, when everything I did and used had to be close at hand for me to reach them while I was being a flamingo and using one leg only. Maybe I could blame my mother as well, because that is always convenient! And my ex-husband, who never raised a finger around the house. So we have all the bases of blame fully covered.

My house is a mess.

Every day I blame this mess on the aforementioned issues but really it might also kind of have to do with the fact that I live in a teeny tiny cottage with a whole lot of stuff and 2 cats and 2 dogs who don't lift a finger to help me out.

A few months after I moved into Chez Clutterella, I began the long and arduous process of Sorting Out my stuff. Well, it was a necessity, really, since you couldn't move in the stockroom what with boxes stacked floor-to-ceiling and I couldn't find anything, and I worried that if anyone came to stay in my B&B guestroom that they would take one look at the living room and back out the front door with a look of desperation on their faces.

In the 10 months since I have lived in this little cottage, which is over 100 years old, and from an era when people had Nothing Much by way of consumer goods so didn't need double closets in every room to stack stuff in, plus a huge linen cupboard plus extra storage units in the bathroom, I have managed to find places to put most of my stuff. Which I had already pared down before moving here. I sent half my linen cupboard to Sri Lanka for tsunami victims. I ruthlessly disposed of clothes that I now want. And I still don't know where some things are because I just haven't found them. But although my 55 boxes of paints, dyes and other business stock have reduced, the fabric seems to have been breeding in its boxes, and I have half-finished artwork everywhere. No, really, I do. I wish I could stand still for a while without junk nibbling at my ankles.

Now my daughter Sophie and boyfriend Erlo are coming to stay again. This means I have had to look closely at my house for the first time in months. I am really busy with work and have no time to clean house plus I have had a bad cold and felt rotten for the past week, so I'm stressing myself out about the level of ick and dust and mess. Sophie is much fussier than I am. In all respects.
She also doesn't make stuff or have pets, though she's grown up with them. And is allergic. I need goals! Goals keep you moving ever forward, zenward, clutterlessward!

This Friday and Saturday I need to have an anticlutter session, to toss the huge pile of Stuff To File somewhere that isn't on the floor; to put away some of the books on the coffee table - because we often eat off it, y'know, the big table being for working on, not eating; and pretending that I don't have 237 unfinished pieces of quilting and painted fabric on the OTHER table where the sewing machines (plural) are. Ok, maybe I haven't counted them, but it LOOKS like 237.

And if you want to come over and clean, hey -- I wouldn't turn you away. Cabernet with your clutter? I can provide. Feel free to dust the exotic livestock, to paint the lawn and do anything else required.


Janet ( said...

I live in an old house, too, with not enough room for ... things! So my "things" have been in storage since 1997 LOL!

Zaz said...

Oh Shirley! If you were nearer - well at least on the same continent - it would have been terrific to have come over and helped! at least helped with the wine whislt we discussed the ethics of cleaning (or not as the case may be)- lol!

I too, am currently 'paring down' and have stacks to go to auction, the rubbish tip - and the pile that is supposedly coming with me!


Bonnypurr said...

I'm not good on the cleaning but I am good at the decluttering - I have had to do so much of it myself :-)

Ali Honey said...

If all else fails store some stuff temporarily( while you have guests ) in the boot of your car.

I don't like housework but I have to have a tidy environment to be able to relax, or work on my hobbies so tend to be tidy ( sorry ! ) I probably have a bigger house with more room - that helps. Get well soon. ( PS the air fares are too expensive so I'll have to drink my own wine!!)

Maureen said...

Oh how I empathise! Wouldn't it be nice to swap clutter and find treasures in other people's trash. Maureen, who can only just find the computer under all that stuff!

Deb R said...

Too bad I'm not close enough to come help. I find it wasy easier and more interesting to tackle someone else's clutter than I do my own!!! :-)

I tend to declutter in waves. I did a really good job paring down in several rooms here a couple of months ago (and have - knock wood - kept them in pretty good shape since then) but there are still sections of the house that need the Declutter treatment baaaaadly.

cedar51 said...

someone has suggested "storage" does your town have storage unit places; that might help at least for short-term family stay.

I also have of stuff....and although I don't live alone [flatmate] I have a bigger proportion of the house full of things.

a tandem garage with extra wings that houses "no" car but does include the laundry area! At times it's hard to see how you would get from back-2-front & reverse.

a huge double bedroom upstairs is full of mainly craft things, books and personal stuff.

we don't have a "dining room" it's got computer and spinning wheel plus some stuff storing for a relative! she just came and took some of it today....

i love my treasures; all my boxes big and small...however I would lovely there not to be a huge amount of dust bunnies lurking and at times appearing for all to see!