The title of the post is completely unfair. It really should be “How My Husband Handles Living With a Clutter Freak Who Reorganizes His Stuff When He’s Out of Town and Melts Down About Piles of Paper.”
Because it’s a classic case of: “it’s not you, it’s me.”
I have a recurring nightmare that I am in a small room surrounded by…stuff. Piles of stuff. That stack up and stack up until they tip over on top of me. I find myself clawing out from under a mountain of crap and sometimes wake up feeling breathless.
I don’t know why I’m so freaked out by clutter, but it haunts me. The junk mail that lingers on the kitchen counter. The collection of knick-knacks that litter my bookshelves. The old magazines that seem to travel from room to room. I see that stuff and it makes me mental.
And when it comes to my marriage, we’re not exactly eye-to-eye. Don’t get me wrong — Lucas is not even a serious offender! Nor is he dirty…he’s a bigger clean freak than me, so it’s not that things are dirty or gross. He just keeps everything, from notes on scrap paper to two-year-old receipts to business cards. Old CDs and childhood toys and broken tools. He has his own system for organizing his stuff, but it makes sense only to him.
This weekend, I held a yard sale. I walked through the house and anything that could go, did go. Furniture. Books. Appliances. Crafts. If they didn’t have a purpose, I didn’t want them around. (Maybe a little early nesting?) It was a rush and somehow helped me tone down the voices in my head that wanted to scream about the amount of stuff two people have managed to accumulate.
Was the bookshelf worth more than $10? Sure, but the value of it PLUS the value of having it out of my house made the price right for me. I sold my quilting stuff for pennies on the dollar. My sofa table and end tables for peanuts. The money raised meant less to me than the freedom of having that space available.
Thank goodness I live with a patient guy, who not only tolerates my crazy…I think he gets a kick out of it. He’s been out of town for several days and when he comes home, he’ll find that I have gone to town in his/our office. That the kitchen has a few changes. That I have a plan for a super-organized nursery closet.
Do you and your s/o or roommates have the same “rules” for clutter and cleanliness or do you struggle to make it work?