Thursday, February 24, 2005


1950s Home Ec Text?

Someone told me that this blog is like a 1950s home ec text, with all the tips and such. (So now ladies, make sure the children are washed and dressed and sitting quietly in front of the steaming pot roast at exactly 5:30 PM...HA!).

Of course this person is not a clutterer, which means she most likely doesn't realize that learning coping mechanisms for the little things (like replacing garbage bags and organizing snowstorms of little white paper scraps) is key for the likes of us clutterbugs.

Non-clutterers do routine tasks automatically, and usually in a "standard" way; they don't inherently think that filing is a weird, unintuitive, complex task put on earth to make them pull their hair out strand by strand. They may find it tedious, but they see the pay off and so they do it. They don't understand why a 3" pile of papers is more appealing. (Visual people who are clutterers often like to pile rather than file.)

Or they don't see that that by giving a giant bag of vintage buttons away they are losing the potentiality of several great crafts projects. I think they probably just see old buttons and think "hmmm, I don't really need 200 buttons. Let's throw them out." Truth be told, I'm pretty good at ditching this kind of stuff. I still *see* the potential in things, I just don't keep them around because of it. I let my mind play with the options, see the quilt with the 200 buttons on it, see the old plates as a table top mosaic, etc. Then if I can't see myself doing it, in the near future, with the things I have collected, I let them go. There are more buttons, and plates and other weird found art objects out there, and I can get more if I suddenly get an urge to make art from old tire strips and wire coat hangers.

Me, I love figuring out systems I like and that work for me.

I grew up in the world's most organized and clean family. I would have had no problem licking the kitchen floor at my mom's house, or touching any surface and then putting my fingers in my mouth. Everything had a place, and in high school, my mom posted on my closet door "Do it. Do it right. Do it now." How I hated that, because doing it "right" wasn't the way I wanted to do it, i.e. it didn't feel right for me, it was her way. Which is a great way *for her.*

I am very thankful that I was exposed to lots of organization and cleanliness because I do know what things can look like and how to get them to look that way. However, I've gained the most pleasure in figuring out the ways that are natural or organic to me; these are the things that once they become habits, are effortless and sometimes even fun. (Whereas when I use a system that is imposed on me or that I use because "that's the way you do it," even after it's a habit, it always grates. I continue to dislike the task, and it still feels hard and icky and counterintuitive even though I keep my promise to myself to do whatever it is.)

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