There’s nothing quite like a good purge.
The process of diving into a disorderly cupboard, gathering up accumulated junk and tossing it out.
Quite frankly, it soothes the soul.
Well it soothes mine at least. And probably everyone else’s in the household as a consequence.
I’m no good with clutter. It irritates me no end.
I get a nervous twitch which gradually worsens as the clutter expands – and then, when the frustration can no longer be contained, I explode.
Ok the twitch bit is a fib – but boy do I explode.
I become quite manic. Once one room is done, then I can’t rest until every single drawer is upended and re-arranged.
The whole process may take a matter of weeks – depending on how much time I have available.
Most zones only require a once-a-year fix. But heavy-duty kid areas need attention at least 4 times every 12 months. A lot of that comes down to the amount of `stuff’ children are given nowadays. But I’ve already spoken about that in another blog.
I can not relax if the immediate world around me is in a state of chaos.
I am a Virgo afterall. And apparently by nature, that means I need order, efficiency…and perfection where possible.
Pre-kids, I could maintain that sense of control. Even in my wildest spurts of creativity - the caps would always go back on the paint tubes; the canvas would always be carefully stored; the brushes would always be thoroughly cleaned. Perhaps that’s why I still have paint brushes dating back to the 1980s. (And they’re still going strong.)
Now? Well let’s just say I’ve had to let go considerably.
When the children were babes in arms, it seemed easier to keep a lid on things.
For instance, once I would despair if, after arriving home from work, the toys were not arranged just so on the shelf. These days, I just appreciate if someone other than me puts the toys away.
Now, with two school-aged children bringing home a constant stream of notes, inventions, treasures, and knick-knacks… the trail of destruction can extend from the playroom to the TV room and up to the bedrooms.
And I have to say they are NOT messy kids. I have experienced messy kids, and by comparison, mine could star in a commercial for Pine-O-Clean.
As for the husband… well, he’s not a fan of clutter either.
However… he does likes to spread paperwork from one end of the dining room table to the other. And there are boxes of `stuff’ I’ve asked him to go through for hmmm… perhaps 5 years now. They still haven’t been sorted.
I have learnt to turn a blind eye to such indiscretions.
But this business of dropping EMPTY toilet rolls on the floor and leaving EMPTY shampoo bottles in the shower… what the hell is that?
I can already hear the murmurs of `control freak’ and `obsessive compulsive’ among the more easy-going of you.
Trust me - our house is certainly no shrine. It looks and feels very lived in.
And the urge to purge is not unique to me.
No… I am definitely NOT alone.
Take for instance my hairdresser. Our discussions will often begin with niceties about the weather and the kids.
Then she’ll dive in and explain with gusto how she’s gone through her boys’ wardrobes and culled a mountain of clothes (a never-ending process with growing kids).
She’ll then describe how she’s sorted out the Tupperware cupboard, and purged the contents of her husband’s sock drawer.
She shares these things with me because she knows I get it.
There’s a gleam in her eye as she speaks - which I recognize well.
It’s that sense of achievement, that little bit of extra space found, that piece of sanity restored.
Another friend - also coincidentally a Virgo – is far more nit-picky than me. Her wardrobe is ordered according to colour, size and type of garment. As for her underwear drawer… talk about precision folding! It would pass the most intense army inspection.
And I know there are plenty more of you out there.
Upon reading this, you may think I enjoy the annual Spring Clean.
Wrong! No one enjoys the process of de-cluttering.
In fact, I see it as a waste of time. MY time – when I could be doing things I’d much rather do.
And it’s all the more annoying when the clutter I’m busting wasn’t created by me.
I do it so I can find things with ease, so that the house looks nice, so we’re not collecting rubbish… and for that warm, fuzzy feeling one gets after a big clean-out (ok, so maybe that is unique to me).
But even the kids notice the benefits of orderly bedrooms.
I just wish they’d stay that way.Follow Sally on Twitter @SallyEeles
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