Monday, July 26, 2010

A Treatise On Clutter

It's Monday. Which means I'm supposed to write something in the blank space on this blog.

I'm working on that.

Which brings to mind something else:

I'm working on a lot right now. I'm itching to have something accomplished, for once, because I have a lot of chainsaws in the air and I can't seem to set any of them down. After the wedding, I keep telling myself. After the wedding, I'll have more time.

Which is inherently true-- when the party for 100 of our closest guests is over and done with and the fiance and I are completely, wholeheartedly married to one another, I will have more time based on sheer numbers. I won't be planning the party anymore, for one.

But I hope it's true in practice, because I am really good about filling my free time.

I'm good at filling free space, too.

I've been noticing a lot of clutter in my life lately. Which is interesting because it's not like it magically appeared overnight; rather, it's been slowly building to the point that I've noticed it. There's a bookshelf at home that is supposed to house decorations that are currently invisible because they're covered in old mail and receipts and wedding papers and real estate sheets and notebooks and note-covered copies of my MS's. My desk at work has assignment calendars with the heading of "April 2010" peeking out under old reports and data entry forms that need to be recycled.

Our car STILL has the tent in the trunk from our trip two weeks ago.

The thing is, I am more than capable of keeping this kind of thing under control. And it irritates me that it's gotten so far out of hand. But the clutter isn't just in my physical space, it's in my mind, too. It's keeping me from writing out the ending to my mystery. It's keeping me from safely setting down any of the other forty chainsaws I have. It's keeping me from blogging regularly (on my personal blog), commenting regularly on others, and please don't even look at the last time I tweeted, for goodness sake.

I'm not saying I'm free from the blame here. I'm not. This is ALL me. But I'm wondering if the physical clutter is a sign that something's stuffed full upstairs, too. Maybe if I clean out the mess I can touch, I can clean out the mess that I can't find.

How do you deal with clutter?


Jean Michelle Miernik said...

I got pregnant. Haha! Seriously, the hormones are making me want to clean and organize all day. I suddenly feel less attached to things I formerly wanted to keep. Now they're going in a Yard Sale/Donate box.

Before, all I wanted to do was write, not do any chores. My house was a mess. Now, all I want to do is clean up! But the result is that when my house is clean and organized, I also want to write again. My mind feels free and uncluttered just being in a tidy space.

My advice to you: Give yourself the blessing to spend less time on writing and social networking before your wedding. That's a huge deal! SO much to do! I learned the hard way--if you try to do everything all the time, you won't do anything the way you want to. Get your life in order, enjoy your big celebration, and then your mind will be free to write again.

As long as you don't let yourself fill the gaps with other "stuff" before you get back into a good writing habit. That's the tricky part!

Unknown said...

Clutter comes from living life. Its a good thing. Though you're right it does need to be cleaned up every once in awhile. Physical clutter is easy to clean up if you have the time. Mental clutter is trickier. I don't know. Sometimes writing helps me clear it out. Sometimes just focusing on one thing at a time but sometimes I just have to let the cobwebs and and dust mites float around in there for awhile . . .

dolorah said...

hehe; I just find a new box to put it all in :) and hide the box away until I want to deal with it. That's usually when we're moving and tired of stuffing boxes in the truck, or when I'm really pissed about something. I throw EVERYTHING away, barely looked at.

And then I try not to regret it later.

But let me tell you about old mail that has piled up: Its the most satisfying thing in the world to throw away bills. No, really; you don't have to consciously admit that those has most likely been paid. Just enjoy tossing them without looking at the due date.

Not only will you have cleared out some clutter, you'll feel like you've effeciently managed your finances also.


L. T. Host said...

Genie-- I still feel guilty about taking the time to do other things though. I don't make any sense, haha. Oh well-- only a couple more months to go.

Taryn-- See, I've been letting the dust gather for a while though and it doesn't appear to be doing anything but making my thoughts hurt. Time for a duster and a shop-vac, methinks.

Donna-- Something tells me following your advice could get me in trouble :) But you're right, aside from the more recent bills, there's really no reason to hold on to them. Hm....

Stephanie Thornton said...

I have the opposite problem- I tend to throw away things and then need them later. I am totally anti-clutter- too much stuff drives me crazy!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Awww, good luck! I'm with Genie - allow yourself some time just to BE. Simplify. Let yourself prioritize the truly important things. Good luck! Getting married is a huge, wonderful change. :)

L. T. Host said...

Whoopsie-- forgot to write back to you two!

Supreme Dictatress: I guess the grass is always greener, huh?

Michelle: Thank you! I'm so excited!