We have an incredibly organised filing system in our house for important documents and miscellaneous items. It goes a little something like this: –
- The lift up lid box (aka foot stool) – lint rollers, tea lights, dusters, broken sunglasses and the digital thermometer
- The kitchen scales – nail files, keys, clip safe things, bits of lego and used batteries helpfully mixed with new batteries
- Kitchen table – magazines, nursery day sheets, unwritten thank you cards that will never get sent, gaffa tape and the latest Toys R Us catalogue
- Blackboard key tidy thing – parking permits, chalk, safety pins, blue tack, party invites, hair bobbles and Calpol sachets
- By the Printer – generally just a huge stack of various papers including bills, forms that need filling out, to do lists, the kids ‘art work’ and seasonal related goods such as the a panini world cup sticker album
- The ‘to file’ box – important documents that needs to be filed
- The actual file – a bunch of old documents that need removing from the file so that stuff that actually needs to be filed, can be filed
I can just about cope with the above, within reason, but I find my anxiety levels start to rise incredibly quickly should the piles start spreading beyond acceptable levels of width or height. Or to other non-approved locations such as the shelves or mantel pieces.
I do no wish to see items such as sun cream, egg box craft projects, camera’s, samples of moisturiser or bottle openers on top of the DVD’s. It makes me quite cross, even though they are probably there because they were put there by me.
I’m not really sure what the precursor to a full on clutter related meltdown is – I can actually co exist with accumulating crap for an unspecified amount of time before it suddenly and inexplicably becomes wholly unacceptable.
Everything is quite normal one minute and then the next…
‘THERE IS STUFF EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
J, the voice of reason will reply along the lines of ‘Ok, fine well lets not get stressed about it. Lets just sort through it shall we?’
‘I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT ALL IS!!!!!!!! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH OF IT??!?!!, IT’S EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE!’
[Everyone exits the room in silence]
You see it’s terrible thing to be both anal and lazy – you are in a constant battle with yourself. Every few months we do manage to get on top of things; the piles of stuff get cleared away and boxes of crap are sorted though and organised. The feeling is euphoric, but it’s bittersweet because obviously feeling euphoric about the fact that you no longer have suncream sat on top of your DVD’s is pathetic in itself.
If you are like me and it has gotten to the point where you start going round other people’s houses and seeking out chaotic admin malfunctions just to make yourself feel better about your own chaotic admin malfunctions, that you can’t be bothered to address – it’s time to pick up a community chest and follow its advice to the letter.
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)