The Many Stages Of Decluttering A Cluttered Home


It starts out small. And I mean small, very tiny. You leave a book on the dining table after using it. The sharpened waste of pencil is knocked onto the table corner. You decide to make the bed when you’re back in the evening, because you certainly don’t have time for the mundane when work began five minutes ago and you still haven’t showered. Everything is just a little task after all, and procrastination is diluted into human blood.

But you know what they say about little drops of water and little grains of sand. Before you know it, your entire bookshelf is empty, its contents placed haphazardly across the house. You find kitchen implements on the bed, or worse, in the bathroom. That empty bottle of shampoo you were going to throw out later, has somehow sexually reproduced with the conditioner bottle, and now there’s a little empty bottle family living and crowding in your bathroom cabinet.

Now this is where the cleanliness fever hits most people. It can be triggered by the impending visit of your mother, or just good old fashioned OCD. An hour of picking up and throwing bulging waste bags in the dumpster later, BAM! The room is passable as neat, and you go on your merry way, until the next accumulation at least.

Unfortunately, that epiphany moment did not come for me. (Yes, this is my story.) The pile of random crap crowded around me as each day passed, and true to my therapist’s word, I blocked out everything I didn’t want to see, until the pile reached alarming proportions. Luckily, I did not have to suffer through being buried under a mini avalanche of my own unwitty creation to realize my mistakes.

No, my epiphany came out of the blue, no triggers. One day, I was Oblivious Annie, and the next, I opened my eyes and saw the waste yard my house had become. Luckily, I was on a weeklong break. I dug out the old bandana, stripped down to my camisole and boxer shorts, put on some Linkin Park, and dived in.

Gone was the sentimentalist. Post epiphany me was a ruthless tyrant. Haven’t used that phone charger in months? Out it goes. Only three months till Expiry date? Nope. I threw away anything and everything I didn’t have need immediately for sustenance. And what I could, I pawned away.

Needless to say, it took fifteen-fifteen!-trips to the Dumpster and a few calls to the Electrician, Plumber and Pawn shop owner, for me to see the surface of the table and the counter. A week spent sorting through books, clothes and random knick knacks, a week well spent. My house is a house again, yay!

I can now chillax with that cold beer and crap television. But before that, where’s that remote?

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