No One’s Home

I now have a good number of shopping apps on my phone. I’m not going to name them here, as this post is not meant to advertise any of them. But you may use some of these yourself. The most interesting apps are the ones that serve as a socially networked marketplace for secondhand clothes, bags, shoes and other accessories. Some sellers have made a small fortune hawking their wardrobes online, moving from their own closets to actively buying and reselling new and used clothes. It made me think of all the clothes and shoes sitting in my own closet that could have some potential, and I got excited thinking about selling them.

But when I thought about it longer, I realized that it’s not so much the money I’m excited about (although that’s nice too), but the act of cleaning, organizing and getting rid of all this unused stuff. I don’t understand how we have amassed so much crap over the years, especially since having kids.

Part of the reason we are close to achieving reality show worthy levels of hoarding in this house is that we don’t make the time to consistently and methodically declutter and organize. And that’s mostly because we’re not here most of the time. Even on the days I work from home, no one’s home. This household feels a bit like a ship with an able crew that is nonetheless filled with holes, despite our best efforts. We are skilled enough to know how to focus on bailing out the water when we’re about to sink. But then we turn our attention to another problem on the deck, ignoring the holes instead of taking the time needed to fix them.

And although in a sense no one is home, we are nonetheless painfully aware, every day, of the chaos and clutter in this house. Sometimes I dread coming home from work because I know an avalanche of dirty dishes awaits. But that is nothing compared to the larger and more daunting projects that lurk in the closets and dark corners of our modest but comfortable homestead:  there’s my old clothes and shoes, then there’s the old kid clothes and baby toys, the unused kitchen gadgets, and countless junk drawers throughout, each with their own unique ecosystem to support the sundry pieces of broken and random items that have claimed these hideaway spaces as their permanent homes.

Ironically, while we have a ton of stuff littering our domestic landscape like a landfill of coffee-stained kid art and broken computer monitors, our walls are mostly bare. No one is home to look at each room and decide, after a thorough decluttering and cleaning, which useless objects we should intentionally incorporate. This is called interior decorating, and it’s supposed to be thoughtfully planned with carefully curated objets d’art. And I’m pretty sure I will have that stage down pat, if I ever get there. For now, my husband just shakes his head when I cart my latest vintage find down to the basement, you know, for later.

And then there’s the grocery delivery and Amazon subscriptions and other systematic aids to household management that would be immensely helpful, if we actually used them. I want to sit down and set these services up so we can pretty much go on autopilot with these things. I’m tired of running out to the store unexpectedly  because the need for just one thing has suddenly yet stealthily presented itself, like some domestically oriented Batman.

I’m just tired in general, actually, and while others assure me that this is all normal, I can’t shake the feeling that something else is adding to the problem here. If you’re guessing that working too much has something to do with it, you might be right.

I’ll wait until my next post to tell you what happens after I look into this issue further.

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