I was going to label this "Cleaning." But I cleaned really hard (AND FOR NAUGHT) two summers ago. I could say, "that's not true; I clean every week," but you'd know I was lying.
But yes, two years ago, I cleaned everything. I found everything's "place." You know, the place where everything is supposed to live. Its "special place." As in the rhetorical question involving a pointed finger and a stern voice saying "Is THAT in its special place?!"
Yeah. That didn't work. While *I* knew where everything was supposed to go and occasionally was motivated enough to try to get everything back to its special place, the house never stayed clean. Our house continued to look like we just finished grad school. Actually, quite a lot of the time, it looked like a fraternity house with food and animals and underwear strewn everywhere.
As I've asked people when they've come over, "Please don't call DSS!"
Then I read "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.
The point of this book is not really cleaning up or storing your shit better. It is really an anti-consumerism theology of identifying which physical objects in your home give you joy and appreciating them. And then donating/dumping the rest of your crap that you bought to fill the gaping hole in your soul and doesn't actually do it.
I would to write an academic post on the topic of human interactions with physical objects ((see the first sentences above for why that hasn't happened)). But until then, here's the thesis: Psychologically (as in theory and research support this), we do have relationships with the inanimate objects in our lives; these objects hold meaning. I like the idea of only keeping the few objects in my house that hold happiness and joy. ((You don't think you have feelings about your objects? Put all your clothes on your bed. Pick up each piece. Most them are neutral or annoying. Some of them you grab and go Yes!! Keep those. Toss the rest.))
I also like that the books gives me the freedom to say to some objects:
- Thank you for the joy you gave me at the time. You can go now!
- Thank you for being a gift from someone who loves me. You can go now!
- Thank you for teaching me that I should never buy anything ever resembling you again! You can go now!
Every time I open a drawer or go in the closet, I can easily see every item of clothing that I *love.* It's so easy to get dressed. Even picking out socks and nundies is easier using her folding technique. Seriously.
One of the things the author encourages is to ask what you want from having a decluttered house. I finally wrote my wishes down in my bullet journal last week. I want more free time. I don't want to clean as much. I want to live in a beautiful, clean, loved house. And I think having only the things that make us happy around the house will help. Yes, it has occurred to me that occasionally that may include tossing a child or two outside for an extended period of time. But fortunately, school starts back soon.
Aren't they cute when they are unconscious?!
I think it's going to take quite a few more months to get through the house. But fingers crossed, it will be cleaner for longer and full of the few things that truly make the family happy.
*A new fake swear phrase that is beating out the baby lemur.