Monday, October 06, 2008


Okay, okay, so I’m back for a minute. I know it's been a while, so mea culpa.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past few days about clutter. This is due to the fact that our flat currently looks like a testing ground for a new and advanced brand of demolition equipment.

It all starts with parents. I grew up in a beautiful home that my parents created from the ground up. It’s a haven of tranquility and although I remember clutter in certain rooms (i.e. mine) while growing up, the living spaces were almost always free of excessive detritus. (Although, being the offspring of two teachers, half graded piles of schoolwork just blended into the background.)

It is perhaps a little unfair to compare my living environment to my parent’s lovely home- first and foremost due to the fact that our flat would fit into their house three times over. Secondly, they have a great deal more storage space than we do, so it’s not that they don’t OWN a bunch of useless crap, but it’s definitely better hidden. Our useless crap is currently all residing in the lounge like a load of unwanted and slovenly houseguests.

My parents are arriving tomorrow afternoon for a visit on their way back from a whistle stop tour of Italy. Mr. DD and I often use these visits as an excuse for a life purge of sorts. However, this time, we might just have left it a bit late.

I spent an hour or so spelunking in the space that we generously call our attic on Saturday, (Mr. DD, being 6’2”, feels a bit like a giraffe in a coat closet up there, so any marathon attic sessions are undertaken by me.) determined to find things that needed to be expelled from the premises. (So that I could make room for MORE useless crap that needed to be stored) I discovered 4 bags of charity shop clothes that had been slung into the crawl space in frustration on previous visits that were unceremoniously flung back down through the hatch, startling the Prawn. The remnants of our “weird drawer” (don’t try to deny that you’ve got one, because EVERYONE does.) from our days on Galileo were dumped into a trash bag after a quick inspection. An old bathroom cabinet that had come with the flat and had TWICE been shoved into the gods finally came down to go to its final resting place. (The tip.)

Despite feeling as though we had managed to purge rather a lot of stuff, the flat is still left looking like hell on toast and although I’m fairly sure it will be shipshape and Bristol fashion by the time my parents walk though the door, I’m ready for it to be done RIGHT NOW. Both Mr. DD and I and even the Prawn have been left feeling quite unsettled by the clutter. It leaves me wondering about the mental wellbeing of people whose lives are lived amongst clutter on a day to day basis. The people who are featured on shows with titles like, “Holy Shit, You LIVE Here?” I’ve felt unsettled, grumpy and anxious amongst the piles of paper, bedding and things that I didn’t even know we still owned. The Prawn too has been more antsy of late. So how do some people managed to live their lives voluntarily surrounded by clutter, in many cases much WORSE than ours? How do they relax? How do they not want to see the floor? How do they not want even the slightest bit of ORDER? I mean, I’m not anal by any definition, but I know when I find bits of toast and cheese on the floor, it makes me crazy. (Toast and cheese are the two elements most likely to be found in odd places now that we have the Prawn. Cheerios are just a given.) Being surrounded by heaps and piles makes me pretty miserable.

So I am looking forward to tomorrow morning when hopefully all of the heaps and piles will have miraculously dissolved into the ether, leaving my home clutter free.

At least until the Prawn has breakfast.