Can you imagine, after months of absence from the daily dailies, what total chaos lurks in corners of my home?
On the surface, we managed to maintain a clean and tidy home, but on the surfaces - the corner cupboard, the hall table, the shelves at the top of the stairs - chaos reigned blissfully uncontested and unchallenged.
The propensity of small children to leave swathes of STUFF in their wake will never cease to amaze me, and my real struggle with throwing things away (not just because I am by nature a hoarder, but also because I hate to waste, and because I respect the value of things to individuals - one mum's pile of shit is so often also one child's definition of treasure - and because I'm a victim of nostalgia) will never die.
My love of the organised will never reconcile with my secret delight in chaos (this is why my clients, who see me as methodical and organised and detailed to a tee, must never see my desk), and my love of organising will never make peace with my equally adored inclination to lie on the couch with a book ignoring the squalor around me.
As a friend (an ex-friend truth be told) once said to me, 'I admire your ability to just let it all go.'
I'm still not sure how to take that.
I think it's the Taurus/Gemini cusp thing I've got going on: chaos/order/chaos/order/chaos/order.
This morning Taurus must have been rising (or Gemini had her nose in a book, ignoring the world) for the de-cluttering bug bit hard.
For hours I circled the house, small miscellaneous collections of oddities in my hands, slowly putting like with like, tit with tat, finding the right box/drawer/shelf, planning my routes according to the stuff in my hands. It became a meditation of sorts - a simple flow with clear goals and directions - a gentle and calming space.
Here is the tin for the wooden cakes, now where was that wooden cake I saw yesterday? This is LEGO, this is LEGO, this is LEGO, this is Playmobil, this is .... what the fuck is this? Oh, here is that screw which goes with that game, here is the piece of that puzzle, here is the magnet thingie which came off the other thingie - I wonder where the other thingie is? Here is Ken's scarf, here is a ballerina's shoe, here is the baby rhino which was cried for a couple of nights back. Here is the dog and the picnic basket from that set with the biker, oh here is the biker, now where is the bike? Here's a marble, here's another marble, here's another marble - oh, here is a 1 pound coin, that's no longer a toy!
After a while the task starts seeming insurmountable though, and the meditative trawling through piles of minutia starts grating.
A new approach: categories! Dress up props and soft toys ONLY, see past the rest and focus just on these.
A Cinderella shoe under the couch, a fake tattoo sleeve wadded up in a corner, a random clip-on earring, an ubiquitous toy leopard. Oh look! A wooden cake! Now where did I put that tin ....?
Camera in hand made my eyes see it differently, closing lids on plastic boxes of complete sets made it satisfying, discovering notes and drawings and tableau's by my sweet girls made it fun.
Having the time to nurture my home made it ever so sweet.
I could do with a few more mornings like that (as could our house!).