Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clutter, Who Me?? by DL Larson

I can honestly say my basement was de-cluttered last year. My storage shelves now have plastic tubs with lids snapped tight, well mostly - the Christmas ones are distributed around the house and looking a little messy. But that' only temporary ... I will get all decorations placed and tubs put away soon, I promise. But back to the clutter thing and my basement being clutter-free last year - never mind this year. Last year we had an invasion of mice ... thus the plastic tubs now. It was relatively easy to de-clutter. If things were chewed, they went to the dumpster. And triumpantly we have been de-miced as well, once we realized the little critters entered through the air conditioning line; they smushed and chewed through the sealant. We grow tough field mice out here in the country!

And I can also say my kitchen cupboards have been de-cluttered. Did I mention my daughter and her family moved in a month ago? We merged two kitchens together, mushed maybe ... anyway,the cupboards were thoroughly rearranged to be orderly and if you shut the cupboards quietly and quickly, no one mentions the tidy look has faded a bit.

Most of my house looks okay, not good,those Christmas bins are still sitting around, but easy enough to fix by the time we host our first holiday party. Then there's the shoe problem at each door. We can hide those in a pinch. But the one area I've been avoiding, really looking the other way here ... is my office. It's one of the cutest rooms in my house. I have a big bay window, a wall of shelves filled with books and my stereo, and a wallpaper border of books. My computer desk has a large area to work with a shelf above the monitor, the five foot table next to me is a great asset and my oak roll-top is a thing of beauty. Sounds great, heh?

I could tell you to the left of me is a pile of papers that would fill a laundry basket - that is waiting for the shredder. It's at the library for a snowflake project we're doing - we need shredded paper. I could tell you that I had to pull and tug to get the shredder away from the pile of discarded debree, but I won't!

Under my table is another basketful of notebooks from one event or another, a couple stacked boxes full of manuscripts I'm working on, a hanging folder, two stacks of magazines: Writer's Digest and Romantic Times, with a few Country Home mixed in. Oh, and a few purses for a quick change when I need them. The surface of my table - I can't describe it just now, let me think about that.

In the meantime, beneath my computer desk is several more boxes of manuscripts, all in various degrees of completion. And the shelves are crammed with resource books, inspiration and other tidbits I can't work without. My printer is also used as a shelf which become inconvenient when I have to change ink - which I had to do last night and the pile is sitting or is that setting? on top another printer stand.

My beautiful oak desk? I really should do some purging in there. I've tried, I really have. My granddaughters can find the gum I have stashed - nothing much else. Oh, and scotch tape, they're pretty good at finding that too. Only in desperate times do I close the lid - which I will be doing on the 16th of December - the day of our first holiday party. It will take approximately five minutes to shove and stack the stuff so the lid will come down. Under that desk where your feet go ... I have boxes of pictures. I make no excuse for them. I love pictures, just don't have time to put them in albums. So they've found a home in that little nook and I let them stay there rent free.

In front of my wall of books rest more boxes, mostly mine for sale. They belong downstairs, but you know, the next project comes rushing up and things don't get put back where they belong.

That brings me back to the top of my five foot work table. There are times when I really can't take it anymore and move to the dining room. That's usually when my kids roll their eyes and mention that my fetish with paper is leaking into other parts of the house. Because let's face it, my dining room table is mine and it's usally piled with stacks of 20 count paper too.

So don't talk to me about clutter. I know it very well. Intimately. We're good pals. I've accepted I'm a clutter-holic. I need help but never seek it. I can't stop myself. I like piles of paper. I hate stacks of paper. I can never find anything, especially after cleaning up. So, yes, my five foot table is beyond clutter. There sits my cup from last night, the Febreeze from the burnt popcorn two nights ago, the candle in its glass globe too. Russell's Christmas Magic, by Rob Scotton is on top, the librarian in me, with Christmas cards splattered next to it, the mom trying to be friendly with holiday greetings, the decorating debree: wire clippers, wire, plastic ties, extra bulbs, blah, blah, that's all on one corner. It goes down hill from there, literally.

It would be so easy to just close the doors and walk away. But alas, when we built this house nearly ten years ago, I fell in love with these French doors, and yep, you guessed it, those are the doors to my office. Cute, heh?

I'm my own worst enemy! Is there a CLUTTER-ANONYMOUS? Perhaps I should seek help. Or is it too late? The holidays are coming. Is clutter bad? Is Santa going to be disappointed in me? Again?

Santa, really, I can explain ... I'm sick ... It's not my fault. I was paper deprived as a child ...

Til next time ~

DL Larson

PS: Tonight is the Booksigning at Barnes & Noble, Schaumburg: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.!!

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

I've got Writer's Digest, The Writer, Romantic Times, RWR, More Magazine and Reader's Digest and can't get to them.

I also have plastic containers to keep our dog from destroying certain objects. Problem is she's smart and stubborn. She works at getting the lids open and often succeeds!
Morgan Mandel