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November 13, 2003

the clutter in my life


This is a photo of one of the more attractive examples of my flat surface disease.

My eldest son did a conceptual project in college. He sent ten people an identical set of ten objects, and asked them to create a sculpture from the objects and send it back to him. I don't really know what he received. The real point is that he called me and asked me to look around the house for ten sets of ten things, because he knew I'd produce. I have favors left over from numerous birthday parties, folding chinese dragons, yoyos, plastic spider rings, a bag of one inch fuzzy teddy bears. I have thick purple rubberbands from organic broccoli, rulers and ball point pens from my father's business which closed a few years ago (were he alive, he'd be 104). I had curlers (do we even know what curlers are anymore?) and bobby pins, but I was able to discard them. (To let you know my thinking process, I just had a moment of regret for tossing the curlers, since they will one day be valuable antiques.) It's alot to maintain, and, as you can imagine, it leads to a cluttered environment.

The organizer, Karen Kingston, says that keeping stuff around is a negative prediction - when I need something, it won't be there. Rather, she would have us believe in the generosity of the universe to provide exactly what we need when we need it.

So I had a dream about sauteing a pan of little white baby shoes in butter and paprika. I thought a photo would be fun, and sure enough I had a pair of white baby shoes at my fingertips (purchased for an acquaintance with a new baby) I am proud to say they were not thirty years old - I don't think I have any of those - besides, my babies wore workboots. Someone said that maybe the stuff in my house is a prop cupboard for my pictures.

I also have a collection of books on the subject of organizing and clutter, Karen Kingston' s large and small, Marilyn Paul's " It's Hard to Make a Difference If You Can't Find Your Keys", a tome by the Slob Sisters who used to be like me. Now they have one major disagreement which has to do with how many twist ties one can keep on hand, I'll have to look up the specifics. I also have Fly Lady bookmarked. This has added to my clutter considerably. I recommend borrowing books from the library. If you don't return them within two weeks, there is a monetary penalty. At least the penalty provides incentive to get things out of your space. If you haven't read them, you can always renew rather that accumulationg another pile.

Just listen to me giving advice on clutter. What a nerve. I guess I better go take some pictures of my piles to bring them into consciousness. I tend to look for the pretty, and some of my piles are prehistoric behemoths, they are not pretty.

Posted by Dakota at November 13, 2003 06:03 AM