I don’t know who the de-cluttering champion of the world is, but it certainly isn’t me. But that won’t deter me from outlining an idea I’ve had overnight for a foolproof de-cluttering system. I’m planning to start a pilot project just as soon as I run out of other things to do, including but not limited to the weekend shopping at Tesco’s, another round of edits for my work in progress ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’, making a start on a new jigsaw puzzle, checking to see how overdue my library books are and returning them if I have enough cash to pay the fine, depositing a cheque in the bank and acting as doorkeeper to the cats.
My idea – no need to read on if you’ve already heard of this elsewhere – is to set myself a very specific target each time I am hit by the urge to de-clutter, so that I always end up with one area of the house that looks better than it did to start with. I did this very successfully over the Christmas holidays when I tidied just one corner of the conservatory with the specific aim of setting up a table in the corner on which I wanted to place the Christmas tree. Somehow this corner is still tidy a whole month later and if I face in that direction I can almost believe I’ve de-cluttered the whole room.
The new project is to de-clutter a chair in the kitchen so that I can swap it with an older, less attractive chair in the conservatory. De-cluttering a chair may not sound like a project that would take very long, but in this case the chair is so completely covered with layers of stuff that the top layer, which consists of the parka and handbag I use every day, is in constant danger of falling off into the cat food dishes underneath. I suspect the three pairs of gloves I thought I had are underneath somewhere along with several woolly scarves that would have come in useful during the recent cold snap, two other jackets and possibly a cardigan, some T-shirts and another bag that may or may not contain either an old play script and some gold paint or an entire year’s minutes of a committee I sit on. Underneath the chair are some shoes. I am not sure how many, because moving the shoes is an exercise fraught with danger. I think there are probably spiders in the vicinity – or possibly even in the shoes. I won’t be able to move them unless the chief spider-catcher in our household is at hand, and even then it will still be risky as he is liable to lose interest and wander off in search of more Go-Cat.
But on the other hand, I know that not being able to move the shoes is a form of procrastination, in that it would be easy to convince myself that because I can’t move the shoes it would be a waste of time de-cluttering the top of the chair. You can see that I will have to be very cunning indeed to outwit myself!