My assault on clutter has been fruitless

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a super-hero and a secret agent, both seeming logical and worthwhile endeavours.
When I didn’t get a “Secret Sam” spy kit for Christmas when I was 10 (and Duane Peters did), my lofty ambition tumbled off the shelf.
Lion-tamer, veterinarian, and astronaut all—eventually—crashed from my list of aspirations.
Growing to a lovely tall height never happened and I gave up after I turned 18, having to settle for 5’2”. I was born blonde but that, too, went the way of the dodo by the time I was 11.
My list of intentions became a small but manageable one—a reasonable manifesto that I worked my way through. Many of the things I wanted to be I became. Some of my achievements happened with little or no effort on my part while others took almost every last drop of my energy.
But there is one goal that has stayed just outside my reach even when I stretch and wiggle my fingers, wincing and straining.
I don’t expect to play the piano at Carnegie Hall, although I have mastered “Chopsticks” with reasonable flair. I probably won’t win a Pulitzer for my writing, though I suppose I haven’t completely given up on that notion.
Some dreams just have to stay on a burner even if it is a back one.
I’m willing to accept that my 15 minutes of fame may have passed without my notice, but I would like to feel my life has some sort of order to it; that my kitchen cupboards will stay tidy and my office desk won’t look like a hurricane recently has blown through.
I would like to be organized.
My grandmother used to say that a clean house was indicative of a life misspent. If that’s so, then my children have not wasted a single second (I know, that had a judgmental tone to it).
Cleanliness isn’t the issue in my case. I scrub, I dust, I polish. My vacuum and I have a deep and profound relationship; we go way back. The problem is the speed with which clutter re-occurs as though some force is waiting behind the door when I leave the room, ready to mess the place up again while I’m out.
I used to blame it on any number of things, and on occasion that blame may have been directed at my daughters. However, they aren’t here to blame now.
Perhaps I should apologize to them in a formal manner. This should do.
I am quite comfortable with putting things back where they belong. When I use the scissors, I put it back in the drawer that I dug through for 11 or 12 minutes to find them in the first place. I put my shoes together with heels at the wall when I take them off in the mudroom.
And I make my bed, without fail (I say that as though I feed the homeless breakfast every morning).
I think that “where things belong” might be the key to the problem. Despite owning roughly one-third of the world’s inventory of plastic bins and tubs, my assault on clutter has been fruitless. I have failed.
If I won the lottery (though I have yet to buy a ticket), I would hire one of those individuals who borders on obsessive compulsive and who runs a very tight and orderly ship. She would make lists for me, re-organize my cupboards and my life, and plan my kitchen storage that would make my heart swoon.
Everything I needed would be found automatically. My bathroom taps would turn off clockwise rather than the contrary, which throws me off every single time I brush my teeth. I would know just which bits of string and paper to keep, which to throw away.
My glasses would never wander far from my face. My cutlery drawer would be pristine and I would never have to search for a half-hour to find a paring knife.
Oh, it would be heavenly.
In the meantime, I shall buy more bins. And I’ll label them and maybe colour code them and. . . .
wendistewart@live.ca

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