Thursday, March 26, 2009

show off

i may have misunderstood the assignment, but i noticed a comment on em's blog about "showing off your clutter" around your home and i really liked the idea. i remember noticing several times during college how cool my desk looked covered in papers and scores of other evidences of my life.
i generally think i keep my house clean, but sometimes i look around and it seems like i'm very wrong.  as i wandered around with my camera, it seemed a bit the opposite.  yes, there's plenty of work to do, but it's nothing to condemn.

as i was waiting for these pictures to upload, i decided to continue attacking this clutter and, in pile #1, found a state farm magazine with an article on how to control the clutter in you house.
author alyson mcnutt english established the drama of clutter by interviewing the president of the home safety council, meri-k appy, who sounds like she could be one of dick van dyke's chimney sweeps.  the greatest threat of clutter is tripping and falling, although confused adults taking the wrong medicine from a cluttered medicine cabinet was also a growing threat.
call me calloused, but i wasn't too afraid yet.
like i said, i kind of like the look of the clutter.

granted, my dresser top isn't as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other areas.
it's random junk, things that don't really have any place to go: the candle warmer that's too small for the candle i bought, leftover screws from either an ikea shelf or my desk, a card with all serial numbers for kodak film stock, a comic book a friend loaned me.  do i need the assistance of a certified professional de-clutter-er like the article suggested?  no, because then she (or he, with fabulous hair) would insist i also get rid of my purple cow that i won at the fair in high and my costa rican ocarina, and those are staying.  they just need a home.

a few nights ago, i discovered a secret.  around midnight, i picked up something.  and i put it away.  then i picked up something else and put it away.  the whole pile was formidable, but taking things that definitely had a place to go (and the trash can was not uncommon) slowly and surely cut the monsters down to size.  i went to bed at 2:30 with a great sense of accomplishment.

when i was 16, i cleaned my room one day, and it generally stayed clean for the remainder of my teenage years.  i did alright in 104; the rooms were small enough that there wasn't much room to clutter up anyway (can any roommates confirm or deny this fuzzy memory?).
but since i've moved here, it seems that i've never been able to get it "clean."  there's always been clutter.  occasionally it gets pushed to the sides, but if you don't eliminate it entirely, it grows back pretty soon.

clutter exists all around.
when my mom comes to visit, i usually ask her to help me attack some part of the house, and when she leaves, the room looks complete different and much better.  it's just nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, or to help me stay on task.  recently, i've been asking becky and caleb to come over.  my sister hangs out in my room and is a mom to her boy, but it's enough that i can talk and stay focused and actually get a lot done.
without someone, i leave through a few papers, throw one away, then check and see if criterion's updated their site in the last fifteen minutes.

i hardly consider this clutter.  i think stacks of books just look cool.

there's no space to neatly store the rock band toys, but the trade-off for fun and joy is so great it's not even a sacrifice.

my quest for clean is not for fear or death or injury or to entertain guests (i do tidy up the main floor before movie nights), but much more of a zen basis. when my room is clean (genuinely), i can breathe better, i can move better. my chi is more in harmony and i can go forth and be awesome.
so perhaps it is a life or death situation, but in much more of a cosmic sense.  someday, i will achieve my domestic nirvana.


Em said...

Speaking of stacks of books....
Check out the dwr bookshelf designed to look like a stack of books.

The Former 786 said...

I think my favorite part is how you have your passport on your nightstand - ready to be grabbed quickly in case you have to flee into the night.

What kind of life do you lead, Jeff?

Jack said...

you were a pretty clean flatmate, even considering the bleach burn on the carpet, i'd say you're top notch. thanks for not hoarding all of the dishes like warcraft did. thanks for letting me yoink a few bits of cereal while you blessed your breakfast.

Jaime said...

all i could focus on was the purple cow. i was like, is THAT a purple cow? it cant be? but it IS... and then as i read, it was confirmed. jeff owns, a purple cow.