2009: The Year of No Clutter

Well, I have to confess 2009 is off to something of a disappointing start. I spent all of the last three months putting my hope in the ascension of Barack Obama to the Presidential throne, and forty eight hours later, not much has changed.

I thought Barack would sell my house. I thought he’d inspire me to exercise more and maybe lose the five pounds I gained during the ‘holiday season’. I thought my children would start sleeping better and act out less.

But he’s been in office for 2 days and my house still has a ‘for sale’ sign in front of it and my jeans are still tight. I don’t even want to talk about the matter of my children’s sleeping habits or their tempers. The Hen was eyeing my water glass yesterday. The one I leave by my bedside at night. The one that his brother (who is coughing more than five sick kids put together) had already drunk from. So when the Hen pointed and grunted to the water, I said ‘no’. The (illness) buck has to stop somewhere.

The kid threw his pacifier to the floor like those angry (baseball) catchers throw the masks from their faces after an outrageous call. Really, it was like we were on a baseball field and he was 25 instead of not quite one and a half. And that was before he tipped his bowl of cheerios onto the kitchen floor and stepped upon each one, deliberately crushing it into oblivion – while holding my gaze.

So it’s apparent to me that if I want things to change around here, I’m going to have to be the change. Not the President.

To that end, I’ve dubbed 2009 as the Year of No Clutter. I’m sick of clutter and it’s all around me. Things we accumulate that I have no idea where to put. Receipts, preschool art, mail, broken toys that I intend to ‘fix’, toys that need to be thrown away, more receipts, gum wrappers, airline earphones, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle playing cards, little tubes of lotion and magazines. Etc.

Every surface of my house has something upon it that shouldn’t be there and I’ve reached my limit. So this will be the year that I either just start throwing everything away that annoys me – or I figure out some kind of clutter control system. It will most likely be the former, not the latter.

We were at a friend’s house for coffee last Sunday. It wasn’t until several hours after we’d left that I realized something. I hadn’t seen any clutter in their house. True, maybe they’d cleaned up because people were coming over. Maybe there were kitchen drawers and closets stuffed to the gills. I really didn’t look particularly carefully – I wasn’t spying on these people, after all. But, their living space was remarkably void of junk.

And that’s when I decided that this would be the year of cleared surfaces. The china cabinet, the mantle, the dresser in our room, the bathroom shelves….all of it will be cleared of that which is not essential.

If the IRS wants to audit me and is mad that I didn’t keep a grocery receipt, tough. If Jason loses an important business card that has been floating around the house for months on end… Even tougher.

I will be ruthless in 2009.

Starting tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “2009: The Year of No Clutter

  1. oh my!! have you been spying on me? why did it seem like I could control the clutter a few years ago and now it spirals out of control in (what seems) a matter of minutes? where does all this crap come from?? I am not going to garage sales every weekend or buying every clearance item at Target.

    My youngest recently shouted (in the car), “I AM SO MAD!” And he has mastered that throwing down of the baseball mask as well…were do these children get such bad habits? πŸ™‚ I really do not throw things. My eldest’s favorite phrase of frustration is “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!” seriously?? I don’t think I say that either (something close maybe, but not that exactly).

    Maybe this is really what goes on behind all closed doors…then I can at least think that I am normal. πŸ™‚

  2. This is the worst day of my life? Oh, that made me laugh out loud. Even though it shouldn’t, because I’m sure I’ll hear the same thing in another year or two. I am going to hope your last sentence is true….and that we are all normal and I don’t, in fact, have the ‘worst family in the world’ πŸ™‚

  3. does the clutter free edict include the eradication of purses/drying clothe et.al. finding a spot besides the knobs and tops of doors….. or is that too much hope.

  4. Oh no you didn’t….man who leaves keys and permanent markers in his clothes (that end up in the washing and drying machines)….who hangs his coat anywhere BESIDES the coat closet

  5. I find nothing as satisfying as setting a timer for 30 minutes, grabbing some large trash bags, and frantically running through the house, emptying closets, drawers and surfaces, and filling the bags with…Jason’s things. After all, *my* stuff is not clutter.

  6. I love it – like your own personal version of a supermarket sweepstakes – except you’re not keeping the things you grab. And of course, it’s the other person’s stuff that’s the clutter – not your own…

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