Friday, September 5, 2008

for want of a nail...

The war (eventually) was lost, so says the old rhyme. It's funny how the little things can just cause total chaos to develop.

I'm generally fairly neat around the house. I like to keep things picked up and in their places. I can normally go from my normal state of the house to company ready in 20 or so minutes. Well, an hour if its my mother-in-law. But things are just gross at the Casa Campion tonight.

As an example, I buy a few more t-shirts and dresses. All of a sudden, my closet and the little canvas dresser I have to keep in my closet for t-shirts and the like go critical and clothes just explode out it, so it seems. I've been thinking about a real dresser for my bedroom anyway, so I buy one at the Howard Brown resale shop (an AIDS charity around here, with the best used furniture). Suddenly, I'm having to get rid of this glass door bookshelf where I kept my purses, my extra linens, the extra quilts, sweaters, etc. It's just too crowded in there for a ten drawer dresser and a six foot tall glass bookcase. Well, not everything that was in the bookcase and the closet overflow fits in the dresser. So I have to do what I probably should have done in the first place and thin out the deadwood among my clothing. Well, that's now in the living room, waiting to be taken to the thrift. And the extra quilts are stacked on top of the dresser still. I hate things in stacks on top of the dresser. Cannot abide them. At least the inside of the dresser is as organized as these things get with me. I like things neat and tidy, but have never been able to convince myself of the virtues of folding underwear or arranging my rolled socks by color.

Then the kitchen cabinet started to fall down. It must have been slow and gradual, but I didn't notice until the other day, when I realized I could fully shut the door on my crockpot. I've got this huge crockpot and even in my largest cabinet, I can't fully shut the door on it. I've got my eye open for a smaller one at the thrift, but until then, I've always just kept the door partly open.

Of course this meant immediate evacuation of every dish, wine glass, teapot and rubbermaid storage container we kept in that pair of cabinets. They're now all over m dining room. I'm going to use it as an opportunity to prune and weed out the deadwood there. There was a lot of weight in that cabinet, china dishes, crystal, and so forth. I'm going to get rid of quite a bit of it I think. But yes, for now, it's all over my dining room. Coffee cups are on every shelf of the dining room bookshelves. A stack of dishes on the dining room table.

I had a handyman out this afternoon and they've been repaired. It turned out that there weren't enough screws used and the ones that were used totally missed the studs and that we were lucking that it didn't come tearing down catastrophically in the middle of the night, taking all our dishes with it. I sometimes wonder where else in the conversion process did the developer of our condo cut corners and when I'll find that out the hard way.

The chaos from that has even spread into the living room. See, I left the phone book I used to find the handyman out on the coffee table and as everyone knows, the instant you leave something out like that, it just starts to collect clutter around it, kind of like how the planets coalesced out of bits of rock and dust gathering together by force of gravity. So now, in less than a day, my coffee table has gone from completely empty to "can just barely see that there's a coffee table". How does that happen so quickly?

Also, it's amazing how few things it can take to turn ones possessions from manageable into "I must declutter my life immediately, my things are taking over!" Things were fine, until I brought a few things home from my Grandfather's house that my family is cleaning out. All in all, I brought home less than a suitcase full of stuff and yet I feel overwhelmed. For instance, there's this hat box. I brought it home with three hats in it. How could three mere hats feel like too much? But the only place for the hat box to live is on top of the dresser and see above for my feelings on things kept on the dresser. There's also this glass pitcher with solid white spots on it. Does that replace the white ceramic pitcher? If not, where can they both live.

I'll stop whining about this soon and by tomorrow I'll be working at getting my house back together to its normal state. For now, though, the chaos seems overwhelming. I don't think well when my surroundings are in disarray. Still, I suppose this is one of those few disadvantages to living in small surroundings like we do now. Back when we lived in a house, I could have shoved all of this stuff into the basement until I was ready to deal with it. That's not an option now, so if I have more stuff than is liveable, I just have to live amongst it until I can get it resolved. No picture today though. Who would want to look at all this?

1 comment:

angeljoy said...

I always wonder where people-who's homes aren't featured in magazines- put everything! It feels that we just circulate our clutter from room to room. It's very demoralizing especially when looking at the magazines with their perfect pictures.