One thing Christmas showed me this year is that our apartment is full of what I can only call clutter. My fiancé and I went to four houses for Christmas and came back with twice as many large bags of “stuff.” For as many presents we received that we wanted and can actually use, we received just as many gifts that are just going to take up space – space we don’t have. We live in a two-bedroom apartment, but I never imagined how many things we could accumulate while living in one place for a year and a half.
There’s the 90-gallon saltwater fish tank taking up residence in our living room, the gigantic coffeemaker using up some of my precious counter space, the computer desk with three monitors, the two gigantic dressers that still don’t manage to hold all of our clothes at one time — the list goes on but I don’t want to bore you. Anyway, I’m tired of moving things around instead of having a place for them all to go. Our “junk drawer” is actually a huge basket full of stuff that I have no place for.
So this year, the year we have designated as “get married and buy a house” year, is the year I am attempting to banish the clutter. It’s difficult when you have a spouse who likes to tinker with just about everything, who won’t let you throw anything away, even if it’s been sitting in a box unseen for two years. But I am going to try, for my own sanity.
All the organizing websites and books say you should try to do one task at a time instead of tackling it all at once. Clean and organize the bathroom and finish it before you start the next room. But that doesn’t really work for me. I’ll find something in the bathroom that belongs in the bedroom, so I’ll walk to the bedroom and then think, I should hang up all those coats that I just washed. Then I open the closet to hang up the coats and think, I should put those summer shoes away. And so on.
Another thing working against me is that I have little to no patience. I want to get everything done all at once, like a fairy godmother waving a wand. So when cleaning out the pantry takes me five hours, I get frustrated and feel like I haven’t done anything all day. After I get all good and worked up, I walk away from the project to cool off, but of course I can’t leave all the pantry stuff out all over the kitchen, so I throw it all back in no particular order, and then I’m pretty much back where I started.
So I have a feeling my New Year’s resolution isn’t just going to be “clear away the clutter.” It’s probably also going to be “have more patience when clearing away all the clutter.”
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.