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Comfortably Cluttered

October 31, 2011

As you may remember from this post, our condo is currently for sale. And if you’ve ever sold a house, you know all about keeping things super-neat and clean, and de-personalized. I have to admit, there is a part of me that loves this extreme neatness. When my home is overly cluttered it always nags at the back of my mind – a reminder of all I “should” do. Of course, when things get too messy I just don’t function well. Interestingly, I’m finding that extreme neatness is not optimal for me either. This time of year I normally start my holiday crafting. I’ve started gathering my supplies and flipping through magazines and Craft Gawker for ideas. But even after figuring out how to craft (relatively) neatly, and carving out a special hiding place for my in-progress projects, I’m having a hard time getting going.

I think I use my  home as an interactive mood board. I don’t think I’ve ever actually done a real mood/inspiration board, but looking around my house things like my Fiestaware pitchers, the magazines on the coffee table, the most recent recipe I tried, the fabric I just bought, the photographs on my screen saver – all of these things fill that role. While my pitchers are still out, everything else is put away – out of sight, out of mind.

This neatness has made my home less comfortable, too. I don’t have my fuzzy throw slung over the couch cushions now – it’s neatly folded and put away after every use. It now takes a good 10 minutes to get my bed “unmade” so I can flop into it at night. I haven’t been cooking because lingering food smells are a no-no, so the soups and casseroles I look forward to in the fall haven’t really happened. Even the kittie’s beds are put away during the day (they are not thrilled with this – don’t those beds look comfy?).

So selling our house makes me a little grumpy sometimes. (And it’s only been a few weeks!) I’m definitely ready to move to a space that will work better for us though, so I’m trying to keep that goal in mind, and work with what I have. Perhaps it’s time to create a real mood board – I can always slide it under the couch during the day. Maybe I’ll make two – one for Christmas and one with house/decorating ideas so I remember what we’re doing this for. And I can always invade my parent’s kitchen and start cooking there – they are always happy to help eat what I make. I guess even though it’s not comfortably cluttered right now, it can still be home while we’re here.

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